What items should a trucking company save after a collision?

Building off the earlier blog post about preservation/spoliation of evidence after a truck wreck in Georgia, it’s perhaps equally important to know what to request that the trucking company along with the driver, and even the insurance company preserve after a collision. Each case is admittedly different, but there are some common things. We thought it would be helpful to make a “Top 10”  list (of sorts) of those items for you:

10. The daily logs for the driver of the subject vehicle on the day of the collision and the eight (8) day period preceding the collision;

9. The daily inspection reports on the subject vehicle for the day of the collision and the eight (8) day period preceding the collision;

8. All maintenance, inspection, service and repair records or work orders for the subject vehicle involved in this collision for the previous two (2) years;

7. Annual and other periodic inspection reports for subject vehicle involved in this collision;

6. Driver of the subject vehicle’s complete driver’s qualification file including, but not limited to: a. Application for employment; b. CDL license; c. Driver’s certification of prior traffic violations; d. Driver’s certification of prior collisions; e. Driver’s employment history; f. Inquiry into driver’s employment history; g. Pre-employment MVR; h. Annual MVR; i. Annual review of driver history; j. Certification of road test;
k. Medical Examiner’s certificate; and, l. Drug testing records.

5. Photographs of the vehicles involved in this collision or the collision scene;

4. Driver’s post-collision alcohol and drug testing results;

3. Any lease contracts or agreements covering the driver or the subject truck involved;

2. Any data or printout from on-board recording devices, including but not limited to the Engine Control Module (ECM), Event Data Records (EDR), black box or similar instrument on the truck involved in this collision;in this collision; and,

1. Any post-collision maintenance, inspection, service or repair records or invoices for the subject vehicle.

While those items certainly round out the top ten, there are a number of other valuable pieces of information to preserve after a trucking collision in Georgia. Here are the “Honorable Mentions” for our list:

1. Any e-mails, electronic messages, letters, memos, reports or other documents concerning this collision;

2. The collision register maintained by the motor carrier as required by federal law for the one (1) year period preceding this collision;

3. Any drivers manuals, guidelines, rules or regulations given to drivers;

4. Any reports, memos, notes, logs or other documents evidencing complaints about the driver; and,

5. Any DOT or State Department reports, memos, notes or correspondence concerning the driver or the subject vehicle involved in this collision.

These items can be requested by sending a formal letter, which is often referred to as a “Litigation Hold Letter” or “Spoliation Letter,” to the trucking company, driver, and insurance company. It’s always a good idea to send it right away by overnight mail and fax. (Quick tip  —  In some situations, you may want to even consider using a courier to deliver it to the register agent on the very same day.)  As always, feel free to let us know if you ever have any questions about trucking accidents in Georgia. My e-mail is kevin@patricktriallaw.com and direct number is (404) 566-8964.