When someone thinks of a successful case, whether criminal or civil, it’s sort of easy to remember favorite crime shows. The stakes are high, and the race is furious to collect evidence in order to catch the “bad guy”. In a moment of time, investigators are interviewing witnesses and collecting fingerprints. In a personal injury case, the pace of preserving evidence should be just as furious.
When a company finds out about a commercial car wreck case, it is not uncommon for companies to get rid of the evidence. Without much hesitation, valuable evidence seems to disappear. However, with the help of a spoliation letter, evidence can be spared. A spoliation letter is a letter that is sent to a trucking company that instructs them to preserve specific documents and items listed in the letter.
If evidence is destroyed after the spoliation letter is properly served, the company could be held liable for destroying or damaging evidence. Accordingly, it is imperative that an injured victim of a personal injury case should contact an attorney immediately for a better likelihood of a successful case. Doing so could likely prevent a trucking company from continuing to use a truck that has just been involved in a collision.
All commercial vehicles, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailer rigs, as well as any other vehicle have what is called an Electric Control Module (ECM), also known as the “black box”. Once a vehicle is started after being in a collision, the ECM data is likely to be erased. Generally speaking, the ECM will be able to tell the direction the vehicle was traveling, the degree and angle of steering at the time of the collision, the acceleration of the vehicle, as well as many other things.
If the damage to the 18-wheeler is not significant enough to keep it from driving, the logistic company may choose to keep the vehicle in service, which will likely ruin the chance to download the ECM data. As stated above, hiring an attorney as quickly as possible is imperative to a successful case because an attorney can send a spoliation letter, preserving the ECM data.
It is now common for commercial motor vehicles to have dashcam footage as well as cab footage of the collision. If a spoliation letter is sent early on, this evidence could be preserved, which may save your successful case depending on the circumstances.
With the spoliation letter, the motor carriers will have no option but to retain and preserve their evidence. Depending on the evidence at hand, this could make or break someone’s case. Suppose that a truck driver was looking down at the time of a collision. With the ECM, the data will reveal key elements to how the wreck happened.
We Know What Successful Case Looks Like
Lindsey McKay of McKay Law, PLLC is dedicated to preserving evidence in your case. We know the elements of successful cases and how to apply the relevant ones to your case. If you have been involved in a commercial motor vehicle collision, CALL TODAY because time is of the essence! Our numbers are (903) 999-2653 (BOLD) and (903) INJURED.