Destroying Evidence

Why Trucking Companies Destroy Evidence and How You Can Stop Them

When a large truck crash inflicts devastating injuries, the resulting legal case hinges on one factor more than any other: evidence.

Unfortunately, evidence can be difficult to gather after a trucking accident. That’s due in part to the fact that truck crashes — which are much more destructive than a typical wreck and often involve multiple vehicles — create very complex accident scenes that involve massive amounts of evidence to sift through. 

However, it’s also partly because trucking companies often destroy or deliberately obscure evidence after a crash — even when they could potentially face criminal charges for doing so.

Why You Should Act Quickly After a Trucking Accident

After a truck accident, lawyers and insurance adjusters who represent the trucking company will move quickly to minimize any potential recovery on the part of the victim or victims. They will often arrive at the scene of the accident within hours to begin this work. Once litigation becomes likely, however, truck companies and their representatives have a legal duty to preserve evidence related to a crash, although many of them simply refuse to honor that obligation.

This is why it’s important to contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer right away if you or someone you love has been in a crash involving a large truck or bus. An experienced attorney will move to protect evidence at the scene and secure the data from the truck’s black box and other electronic equipment, and they will also immediately inform the trucking company of your intent to file a lawsuit so the company and its representatives know they’re required to preserve evidence.

Unfortunately, even then, some unscrupulous trucking companies will take the risk and commit a crime by destroying evidence to protect themselves from liability. The trucking company in this scenario will inevitably claim that they “accidentally” got rid of the evidence, but the faster you contact a trucking accident lawyer, the easier it is to prove the trucking company deliberately disposed of evidence and convince the court to impose sanctions on them.

Can Trucking Companies Destroy Evidence Legally?

Federal regulations allow trucking companies to destroy documents like driver log books, trip receipts, and other potentially critical evidence after a certain amount of time passes (usually six months, but some electronic information can be erased after as little as two weeks). While they lose their right to destroy this evidence if litigation appears likely, trucking companies will rely on you not knowing this. Often, they will deliberately engage with injury victims and then stall negotiations so that the six months runs out without any movement toward litigation — at which point they send as much as crucial evidence as they can through the shredder (whether it’s tangible or virtual).

RELATED: Who Is Liable in a Trucking Accident, the Trucker or the Company?

To fight back against this tactic, you need to contact an experienced trucking attorney right away, even if the trucking company’s insurer tries to contact you about a potential settlement. Initial settlement offers almost never come close to addressing the massive financial burden that trucking accidents place on injured victims and their families, and they may be part of a broader strategy to get you to delay taking legal action until the trucking company can successfully destroy evidence that’s critical to your case’s success.

Seattle Truck Law: Preserving Evidence and Helping Trucking Crash Victims

The experienced Seattle Truck Law legal team knows that most truck collisions are no accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a large truck or bus crash, Seattle Truck Law Attorney Morgan Adams will work to investigate your accident, find out whether negligence played a role, and hold the parties who caused the crash accountable. With years of experience and a sole focus on trucking cases, Morgan Adams has experience and network of expert resources needed to tackle the complex challenges of your trucking accident case.

Please contact Seattle Truck Law at (432) 265-2020 or fill out our online contact form if you need legal representation or assistance. We offer free consultations during which we can assess your situation and discuss your legal options, and we handle cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you won’t pay for fees or case expenses unless we achieve a financial recovery in your case.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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