Evidence is crucial when you experience a devastating truck accident and want someone to take responsibility and bring closure. But these trucking companies may find ways to destroy evidence, making it worse for you. This behavior may leave you no way to get what is rightfully yours. Thus, you must know why trucking companies destroy evidence without caring for people’s lives.
It is a hurtful betrayal that adds more pain to an already unbearable situation, isn’t it? We can’t let this continue. At Nordean Law, we are determined to ensure every evidence a company tries to destroy stays safe and available.
What is the evidence that a company tries to destroy?
Companies attempt to destroy evidence depending on the context and legal circumstances. Such evidence that a company may destroy include:
- Electronic data records (Black Boxes)
- Vehicle maintenance logs
- Driver logs
- Surveillance footages
- Communication records
- Driver training records
- Accident reports
- Any data records that could demonstrate the failure to comply with safety regulations
The destruction of evidence obstructs investigations, depriving victims of the opportunity to prove liability and pursue rightful compensation.
Therefore, legal authorities and involved parties must act promptly and decisively to safeguard evidence.
Why does a trucking company destroy evidence?
Trucking companies destroy evidence for various reasons, primarily to protect their interests. Legal judgments can cause a company significant financial loss if proven negligent. The company must compensate the victims and may also have to pay punitive damages. To reduce or eliminate liability and compensation, the company may try to destroy evidence that could prove their negligence or fault.
Besides, incriminating evidence can lead to negative media coverage, damaging the company’s reputation and potentially affecting business operations. By removing the evidence, the company tries to manage its public image. They try to erase or destroy traces that could implicate the company’s responsibility, including electronic records and internal communications.
When can truck companies destroy evidence?
Destroying evidence is illegal and unethical. So, trucking companies should not destroy evidence, especially related to a potential lawsuit, such as truck accidents. Evidence is crucial in accurately determining liability and ensuring a fair legal process. They must adhere to legal and ethical standards by preserving all relevant information and documentation. Destruction of evidence may occur if there is negligence or an attempt to conceal wrongdoing.
What are the common methods used by trucking companies to destroy the evidence?
Trucking companies use various tactics, from erasing physical evidence to distorting the causes of accidents to hide their accountability. Here are a few methods they use to destroy evidence:
- Attempting to blame the victim: Manipulating statements or questioning the victim’s credibility.
- Disputing the extent of injuries: Undermining the victim’s injuries, blaming that the injuries were pre-existing, or were not caused by the accident.
- Destroying electronic and physical evidence: Deleting records from electronic logging devices that track service hours or GPS data; destroying paper documents such as maintenance logs or editing footage from dashboards that could reveal negligence.
- Shifting liability to third parties: Blaming equipment manufacturers if defective products have caused the accident. Arguing that local government contractors responsible for road maintenance and design are at fault.
- Shaping witness testimonies: Providing incentives, financial or otherwise, for witnesses to modify their testimony in a way that benefits the trucking company.
How can you stop evidence destruction?
Preserving evidence is crucial, especially if you are focusing on physical recovery. You can take certain actions to stop evidence destruction from the other party. Which include:
- Send a spoliation letter to the involved company to create a clear legal obligation for them not to destroy evidence.
- File a temporary restraining order to legally prevent the trucking company from altering evidence related to the accident.
- Gather on site evidence quickly to ensure an accurate scene record before any changes occur.
- Hire an expert accident reconstructionist as they quickly analyze the vehicle damage, skid marks, and other physical evidence at the scene.
- Collect statements from witnesses as soon as possible to secure their accurate and detailed recollection of the accident.
In addition to taking the legal actions mentioned above, you can consult a skilled legal professional to learn more about preserving evidence.
What is a spoliation letter?
A Spoliation letter is a legal document sent to a defendant, usually a trucking company, after an accident. It is not exclusive to truck accidents but is a standard practice in personal injury cases. A spoliation letter prevents the destruction of evidence, a process known as spoliation, which can obstruct your ability to recover compensation. Such evidence includes photos, videos, police reports, and more. Thus, the preservation of this evidence is crucial to recover the compensation.
This legal notice obliges the responsible party to avoid hiding or destroying evidence. If you have suffered an injury, consult your attorney to send a Spoliation letter. Doing so ensures safeguarding your right to fair compensation.
Why should I file a temporary restraining order?
A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a short-term legal order issued by a court to prevent the destruction of evidence related to an accident until a formal hearing. If there is a high risk of evidence destruction, you should file a temporary restraining order. It will preserve the critical evidence throughout the case, preventing intentional destruction.
Filing a temporary restraining order enhances the credibility of your case and increases the chances of a favorable outcome. This is a lawful provision that ensures both parties adhere to the same standards of evidence preservation.
What are the consequences of destroying evidence?
Destroying evidence and violating a spoliation letter can lead to severe consequences during trial. Such actions may result in criminal charges, including obstruction of justice or tampering with evidence. Additionally, there can be significant civil consequences, including the sanctions ordered by the court, such as fines or adverse inferences.
California Trucking Law On Preserving Evidence
California law mandates trucking companies to maintain detailed records of their operations. Such records are related to vehicle maintenance, employee qualifications, driving hours, and other operational aspects.
Specifically, companies should retain daily pre- and post-trip inspection reports for three months and maintenance reports for twelve months. Additionally, driver logs must be available for six months, along with hours of service related documents. If a truck gets into an accident, such accident reports shall be available for three years.
Why should you act quickly after a trucking accident?
Prompt actions after a truck accident are crucial for justice and rightful compensation. Truck accidents involve complexities, making the process of determining fault more challenging.
Preserving evidence through photos and videos is crucial while claiming against well equipped trucking companies. Acting quickly also addresses immediate medical expenses, preventing you from long term financial burdens. Thus, timely action is crucial for a comprehensive pursuit of justice in the face of complex legal and economic challenges.
Why do you need a lawyer for your truck accident case?
Hiring a truck accident attorney for your case is crucial for various reasons. With legal representation, you may avoid settling for less than you deserve. When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you get a valuable partner in seeking justice for your damages and injuries. Furthermore, a lawyer may help you:
- To navigate the legal process.
- To deal with insurance companies on your behalf.
- To save your time and effort.
- To avoid undervaluation of your claim.
- To maximize your compensation.
The legal team at Nordean Law understands the complexities of truck accident cases and ensures that you can focus on recovery while we handle the complex legal procedures. You should consider hiring us because of our proactive approach, legal expertise, and dedication to obtaining the best possible outcome.
Choosing us is not just a practical choice; it is a strategic decision to protect your rights, secure fair compensation, and navigate the legal process efficiently. Contact us today!
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In such cases, having legal representation is crucial. Skilled attorneys can explore legal options, potentially filing a lawsuit to pursue fair compensation.