If you were injured in Missouri or Kansas in a semi-truck accident due to another person’s negligence, you face the complex task of bringing a personal injury case to receive compensation for your losses including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Oftentimes, you are able to build a case against the truck driver, the trucking company, another business, or even the manufacturer of the parts and components of the truck. However, in order to prove your case, you will need to have evidence that the other side was either negligent, reckless, careless, or intentionally did something incorrectly or wrong. The preservation of evidence in a trucking accident is imperative and vital to constructing a strong personal injury case especially because the case can take months or years and once the evidence is gone, it may no longer be protected.
Types of Evidence to Preserve
You will need to ensure that both physical and electronic evidence remains in its original condition to preserve the proof that someone acted negligently and caused your injuries. Some of the following items are types of evidence that need to be preserved in your trucking accident case.
- Your damaged vehicle
- The damaged truck and/or trailer of the other party
- All contact and insurance information of the drivers and witnesses of the accident.
- The “black box” of the truck, which records data such as speed, the truck’s gear shifts, the braking history, the length of time the truck driver was driving, the GPS location of the truck, communications between the truck and the trucking company, and any reports filed by the truck driver, including daily inspection reports.
- Daily inspection records
- Annual inspections of the truck
- Roadside inspections
- Daily logs of the truck driver
- Repairs and maintenance of the truck
- Any tests performed on the truck
- The training of the truck driver
- The employment history of the truck driver
- Any complaints that exist against the truck driver or trucking company
How to Preserve Evidence
The first step to take is issuing a preservation or spoliation letter to all parties involved that may be responsible for the accident, including the truck driver, the motor carrier that owned the truck, the trucking company, or the trucking manufacturer. The exact wording of this spoliation letter will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, however, it will stress that all parties must preserve all evidence related to the accident even if they would otherwise have a legal right to destroy it. This spoliation letter will alert all parties that there may be an impending lawsuit, and they have a legal obligation to retain and preserve all evidence. If any party fails to preserve evidence after receiving a spoliation letter, they may face not only losing in court, but also be assessed additional punitive damages, monetary sanctions, or even criminal charges.
Contact an Experienced Trucking Attorney
If you were in a trucking accident, the preservation of evidence is critical to your case. We are ready to pursue compensation on your behalf. If you are concerned about the destruction or preservation of evidence in your trucking case, which could be necessary to prove your claim, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you craft a spoliation letter, investigate your trucking accident, and protect your rights to receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and damages.