The Importance of Preserving Evidence Following Your Motor Vehicle Accident
The preservation of evidence is imperative to any claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Courts have defined spoliation as the destruction or significant alteration of evidence, or the failure to preserve for another’s use as evidence in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation. Intentional and accidental destruction can cause a spoliation issue. Non-intentional or negligent loss of evidence can also have a negative impact on your claim. Evidence that is subject to spoliation includes statements, reports, medical records, video, photos, cell phone data, social media, black box data, witnesses, and other relevant evidence.
The obligation to preserve evidence arises at the earliest possible moment – not only as soon as a party has notice that the evidence sought to be preserved is relevant to the litigation, but also when a party should have know that the evidence may be relevant to future litigation. When a party negligently loses or intentionally destroys key evidence, the responsible party may be sanctioned. Possible sanctions for spoliation include dismissal of a claim, dismissal of the action, preclusion of evidence, adverse inference, or monetary fines.
As you can see, it is of the utmost importance to maintain good, organized records relative to your claim. If you ever have any questions about what needs to be preserved, you should immediately contact our personal injury attorneys at (716) 855-3761.