Spoliation Of Evidence In Personal Injury Cases
For any injury case, there is always a demand to prove negligence on the part of the other party and evidence that you have been injured. The easiest way to succeed in this step is to provide evidence. Without a doubt, the attorneys that represent the other party will do everything in their power to minimize and eliminate the evidence provided. One method sometimes used to go about this process is a spoliation of evidence.
Spoliation of Evidence
Spoliation of evidence is a completely legal process, and it is a direct reference to the duty to preserve evidence. When an attorney sends a letter of spoliation of evidence to the plaintiff in a personal injury case, they do so because there is a discrepancy with the evidence provided.
Some of the discrepancies involve evidence that has been damaged, altered, hidden, or even exaggerated. Submitting medical records that purposefully omit information about pre-existing conditions could fall under this category. It is also worth noting that spoliation does not have to be intentional.
Aftermath of Spoliation
If the attorney representing the defendant in your injury case determines that spoliation of evidence has occurred, you or your attorney will likely receive a letter stating as such. Once you receive the notification, several things can happen.
However, generally, the first step you will take is to demand that the other side prove that the spoliation accusation is valid. If it is not proven, the issue is dismissed. If it is proven, the evidence in question cannot be used in your personal injury case, and in some instances, if the spoliation was deemed to be intentional, you could face litigation.
The best way to prevent spoliation is to be informed. Again, sometimes spoliation occurs by mistake when a plaintiff mishandles evidence, but they do not realize they are doing the wrong thing until after. An attorney will ensure that you are informed.
From the moment you file a claim, an attorney can inform you of what evidence to provide and how to preserve it so that you do not have to worry about receiving a spoliation of evidence letter that could jeopardize your entire personal injury claim.
Evidence is critical to the success of your injury claim, but not just any evidence. You need solid evidence. Working with an attorney can help you avoid this type of situation, and properly respond to it if it is presented.
If you have further questions, reach out to a local personal injury attorney.