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

The aftermath of a truck accident can be chaotic, but it is very important to obtain any evidence that can be used to prove liability. Unfortunately, a good deal of this evidence can get lost, destroyed, or discarded before an insurance settlement can be finalized. It is crucial to understand what a letter of spoliation is and how this can affect your overall truck accident claim in Oregon.

What is a Letter of Spoliation in Oregon?

A letter of spoliation could come into play for various types of personal injury cases, not just for truck accidents. Any type of injury that could lead to an insurance settlement or a civil personal injury claim involves evidence, and this evidence must be preserved. A letter of spoliation helps ensure that all parties involved know about their responsibility to preserve this evidence.

Right after a truck accident occurs, it is crucial for injury victims to work with a skilled attorney who can help with their case. An attorney will usually begin gathering evidence as soon as possible, and they will also likely send a letter of spoliation to every other party involved. This letter is sent in an effort to prevent evidence from being altered, lost, or destroyed before it has a chance to be examined and entered into evidence. The letter of spoliation puts every other party on notice that there is a potential insurance claim or civil lawsuit that could arise.

How Could a Letter of Spoliation Affect a Truck Accident Claim?

A letter of spoliation could undoubtedly affect the outcome of a case, particularly a victim’s ability to recover compensation. When we look at law under Oregon under Revised Statute 40.135 and Rule of Civil Procedure 46, we can see that plaintiffs can request various sanctions for the spoliation of evidence. The plaintiff could claim a presumption that the evidence contained information that was adverse to the at-fault party (the defendant) and work to hold the at-fault party in contempt of court.

If the other party involved does discard, alter, or destroy evidence, this could significantly increase the chances that the plaintiff recovers compensation for their losses.

There are various types of evidence that can be used in the aftermath of a truck accident in order to determine liability. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The truck’s electronic control module
  • The driver apostrophe electronic logging device
  • Any mobile device data
  • Truck company GPS devices and data
  • Weigh station records
  • Statements from any eyewitnesses
  • Debris gathered at the accident the scene
  • Any surveillance footage taken at the incident
  • Photographs taken at the scene of the crash
  • The truck company’s hiring or training records
  • Truck driver or company’s safety history
  • Truck inspection and maintenance records

All of this evidence must be preserved, and a letter of spoliation written from an attorney to the defendant can help ensure that this evidence remains intact. A skilled Portland truck accident lawyer can help you handle every aspect of your claim. Not only will they investigate the incident and send a letter of spoliation, but they will also ensure that you are evaluated by a trusted medical professional.