Destruction (Spoliation) of Evidence in Trucking Cases
Like other businesses, trucking companies must maintain business records and various data required by law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to collect and maintain certain data about their drivers and trucks. Unfortunately, some trucking companies fail to collect the appropriate data or even destroy records once they realize that there is a possibility of litigation based on a truck accident in East Tennessee. You should make sure to discuss your case with Knoxville truck accident attorney Mark Hartsoe, who can make sure that vital data is preserved and hold defendants accountable for the spoliation of evidence when appropriate.Understanding Spoliation of Evidence in Trucking Cases
The destruction of evidence is also called spoliation of evidence. It is defined as significantly altering or destroying property or failing to preserve property that might be used as evidence in reasonably foreseeable litigation. When a trucking company learns that one of its drivers got into an accident, it may engage in spoliation of evidence in order to conceal its negligence or the negligence of its driver. This spoliation may happen very soon after an accident, which may present a significant problem for an injured plaintiff.
In Tennessee, a defendant's spoliation of evidence allows a court to draw a negative inference against a defendant that improperly destroyed or altered evidence. It may also be a basis for sanctions being imposed by the court. A trial court has the discretion to sanction the defendant if its spoliation of evidence occurs in circumstances that show fraud or a desire to suppress what happened, and the spoliation causes severe prejudice to the other party.
You should retain injury attorney Mark Hartsoe right away after being involved in a truck accident. If you retain our firm, we will notify the truck driver and the trucking company of your claim right away, putting them on notice that they should not destroy any evidence and that they have a duty to preserve any evidence relevant to the accident.
Usually, in a truck accident case, you will need to establish the negligence of the defendant driver or trucking company. In other words, you would need to show that the driver failed to drive safely and that this failure caused the accident that resulted in your injuries and damages. A trucking company may be held indirectly liable by using a theory of vicarious liability. This means that if the driver was negligent in the course and scope of employment, while on duty and working for the trucking company, the trucking company may be held accountable for the damages as well.Discuss Your Truck Accident Claim with Knoxville Attorney Mark Hartsoe
At the Hartsoe Law Firm, we are ready to pursue compensation on your behalf if you were hurt by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. If you believe that a truck driver was at fault in causing your crash and are concerned about the destruction of evidence, you should consult Knoxville truck accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe, who has significant experience in these cases. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up a free appointment. Hartsoe advocates for victims who need a motor vehicle collision attorney in many areas of East Tennessee, including Knox, Blount, Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, and Jefferson Counties.