If you have been involved in a car crash caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of a commercial vehicle driver, you have the right to compensation for your injuries. These types of cases are often legally challenging as the lawsuits are complicated. Besides, commercial truck companies and their insurers can spend a lot of money to hire an experienced lawyer to defend them even from rightful insurance claims.
Further, the commercial trucking companies are in charge of much evidence that you require to prove that the commercial driver acted recklessly or was negligent and as a result, you got injured. Therefore, it’s important to understand your legal rights particularly when you get involved in a crash with a commercial truck. Here is what you should know about protecting evidence in a commercial truck crash injury case.
Letters of preservation in a commercial truck crash
Letter of preservation, also known as spoliation letter is one of the essential tools at your disposal after being involved in an accident with a commercial truck such as tanker, delivery vehicle, tractor-trailer truck or other cargo carriers. It’s wise to work with a reliable and experienced Austin personal injury attorney to collect and preserve the necessary after the accident.
Always remember that a trucking company controls a lot of important evidence you need and it’s essential that you access that evidence and protect it. This evidence includes;
- The truck’s driver log of working hours
- All reports regarding all the accidents the driver has been involved in
- The historical safety performance of the driver
- All the inspection and maintenance reports of the vehicle
- The driver’s record of alcohol and any other drug education
Each of these pieces of evidence must be kept for a specific period according to the law. However, this period varies depending on different factors. For example, the truck driver’s safety history should be kept safely for the entire period the driver is employed and for at least three years after the driver leaves employment. On the other hand, the driver’s working log should be kept for only for six months.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy for a trucking company to ‘accidentally lose’ or intentionally alter different driver records that might prove incriminating. Though this might not be a common practice and it’s not legal or acceptable behavior, it’s advisable to protect your right to evidence by sending a legal letter of preservation. It’s a key step when it comes to ensuring the integrity of the pieces of evidence you require to make your case in a court.
As soon as you realize you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, contact your lawyer. Request the attorney to draft one of these letters immediately. Note that sending a carefully-written document to the trucking company ensures that the company is legally required to preserve all the necessary pieces of evidence. You can use this evidence to file a successful personal injury claim based on the truck driver’s recklessness and negligence on the road.