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What Is A Spoliation Letter and How Is It Used In A Truck Accident?

Posted on April 25, 2022 in

Anytime a person sustains an injury or property damage in an accident caused by a truck driver or trucking company in Colorado, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, determining liability is crucial, and this involves gathering evidence. Unfortunately, evidence begins to disappear right after these incidents occur. Here, we want to discuss how a letter of spoliation will benefit a truck accident claim in Colorado. This is a letter that can help preserve the evidence necessary to determine liability.

What is a Letter of Spoliation in Colorado?

A letter of spoliation is something that is often sent at the beginning of a personal injury claim, and this is not reserved just for commercial truck accidents in Colorado. Any type of injury a person sustains that could lead to an injury settlement or a personal injury lawsuit in civil court involves evidence. It is important for this evidence to be preserved.

A letter of spoliation helps ensure that every party involved in the accident claim understands their responsibility when it comes to preserving evidence.

In the initial aftermath of a truck accident, we strongly recommend that every person involved work with a skilled semi-truck accident lawyer who can help with the claim. A lawyer will get to work using their resources and gathering as much evidence as they can. This will likely include sending a letter of spoliation to every other party involved that should also be preserving evidence.

The letter of spoliation is usually sent very soon after an accident in order to prevent any evidence from being destroyed, lost, or altered before it has a chance to be examined and entered into evidence for the case.

How Will a Letter of Spoliation Help a Truck Accident Claim?

A letter of spoliation could certainly affect the outcome of a case, especially when it comes to a crash victim’s recovery of compensation. If a letter of spoliation is sent to other parties, and these other parties still proceed to destroy, alter, or discard evidence, then the plaintiff (the injury victim) could claim in court that the evidence contained information that was adverse to the at-fault party, which is why they destroyed, altered, or discarded it. This could work to hold the at-fault party in contempt of court.

There are various types of evidence that need to be preserved in the aftermath of a truck crash in order to determine liability for the incident. This includes the following:

  • The electronic control module (ECM) for the truck
  • The electronic logging device (ELD) of the driver
  • Truck company training records
  • Truck company inspection and maintenance records
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Mobile device data
  • Photographs taken at the scene of the incident
  • Surveillance footage from nearby cameras
  • Debris gathered at the scene of the crash
  • The actual truck itself

Who Should be Sent a Letter of Spoliation?

In general, the trucking company will certainly receive a letter of spoliation. However, depending on the case, there may be other parties who could be held liable and should also receive a letter of spoliation. For instance, if the incident was caused by the improper loading of cargo, then any company responsible for putting the cargo on the truck should also receive a letter of spoliation.

If a truck owner-operator was responsible for causing the accident, then the truck driver will receive the letter of spoliation directly, as they are also the owner of the truck. Contact our Denver truck accident attorneys today.