- posted: May 19, 2016
- Personal Injury
We’ve all seen television shows and movies where detectives race to the scene of a crime to collect evidence before it can disappear or be destroyed, but what happens at the scene of a car accident when there are no detectives watching to make sure evidence is safeguarded?
Accident scenes are generally not treated like crime scenes. After certain crashes, police may observe and record some of the basic facts about the location as well as the vehicles and people involved and the circumstances of the accident. They do not, however, collect and preserve every piece of evidence that may be useful in a lawsuit. A police report is not nearly as detailed as a criminal investigation.
Because drivers are typically allowed to remove their vehicles and other evidence from the scene of an accident, there is a chance that evidence can be lost or intentionally discarded. Dash-camera footage may be erased, truck driver hour logs can be discarded, and the information stored in onboard computers can be cleared.
Preserving evidence for a lawsuit
After any type of accident or incident causing injury, it is essential that you contact an experienced attorney right away. A truck wreck attorney or car accident lawyer can send a legal document known as a spoliation of evidence letter to the other parties involved. This letter puts prospective defendants on notice that a lawsuit is pending and that any relevant evidence must be saved. This means that efforts must be made to preserve the evidence; it cannot be intentionally or negligently destroyed without consequence.
When a trucking company or any other defendant ignores a spoliation letter and evidence is destroyed, a court may be able to instruct a jury to assume that the defendant was attempting to hide something. The defendant may also face additional sanctions under Georgia law.
After a truck wreck, a car accident, or any other type of incident where negligence causes injury, speak with a knowledgeable Atlanta auto accident attorney at McMenamy Law LLC.