Shocking as it may seem, when a trucking company is involved in a crash, they will often quickly have a team of investigators at the scene of the crash, and despite their being several people at the scene taking stock of what happened, the company will mysteriously “lose” evidence which one would think should be readily available.
Additionally, trucking cases are largely influenced by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These regulations govern the retention of various documents such as driver logs, and data about the truck and its performance. Most trucking companies require that this information be purged from company files as soon as the Federal government allows it to be purged, which is generally no more than 6 months after the data was created. So in addition to mysteriously “losing” evidence, the trucking companies will also legally purge critical evidence from their company files.
That is why it is imperative, if you are injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, that you immediately contact an attorney familiar with the Federal regulations concerning trucking, and trucking litigation in general. That attorney can demand the trucking company maintain the records, and even file a lawsuit to preserve evidence if necessary. And while suggesting to a jury that missing evidence is only missing because it is damaging to the trucking company, actually having that evidence and being able to show it to a jury will put your case in a much better position.
Further, trucking companies are often structured in such a way that it can be difficult to track down the proper entity against whom a lawsuit should be filed. They frequently go out of business, file bankruptcy, and disappear. Having an attorney experienced in trucking litigation can be invaluable when trying to track down the proper party against whom to file a claim.
Trucks are big. Bigger before, and much bigger than your family vehicle. Pressure on the drivers to deliver more and more in less and less time is greater than ever before. It is no surprise then, that frequently when a truck is involved in a crash caused by its driver, the damage caused is frequently just as big as the truck. Big damages creates big incentives to for the trucking company to get out of a sticky situation on the cheap. Navigating the highways of trucking litigation requires a litigator experienced in that field.
Upon an accident involving a trucking company, you need to be sure to have a letter sent to the trucking company advising the trucking company about spoliation, and their obligation to retain their records. You need to act fast to preserve those records in order to maximize the chances of holding the at-fault company, and driver, accountable for the damages they caused you and/or your loved ones.
Contact the experienced attorneys at the Berry Law, if you are involved in a crash involving a vehicle owned by a trucking company.