Could You Be Accused Of Destroying Evidence?
When accident victims worry about evidence being lost or destroyed, they often worry about Defendants which may “accidentally” lose evidence that the victim needs to prove his or her case. Victims often don’t think of destroying evidence themselves. In fact, in many cases where a victim is accused of destroying evidence, the destruction or loss is purely accidental.
You Don’t Want to be Accused of Destroying Evidence
Being accused of losing evidence is not a good place to be; it can make you look bad, or worse, the court can enter a presumption against you in your trial, or sanction you for losing or destroying evidence. You may think that you would never destroy evidence, but it can happen. There are some common ways that accident victims find themselves being accused of destroying evidence–things that you want to avoid doing.
- Throwing away clothing – If you are in a slip and fall accident, your clothing (including your shoes) is evidence in your case. The Defendant wants to see if your shoes were appropriate for where you were walking. Your shoes may have the substance you fell on their soles. The Defendant will want to see if the substance that you fell on, is on your shoes or your clothes.
If you throw away the clothing that you were wearing in your fall-or even if you wash the clothes you were wearing-you could be accused of intentionally throwing away evidence.
- Fixing or repairing your car – Certainly, you can fix your car after an accident-But that’s only after the insurance company has had the chance to look at your car, and take pictures of it. Many people will rush to fix the car themselves–you may even be handy with car repairs yourself, and just want to do the repair job on your own.
However, any repair that you do to your car, is depriving the defendant of the opportunity to evaluate the damage to your vehicle, and you could be accused of destroying evidence. You also could be preventing your own expert witnesses from reviewing important evidence in your case.
- Deleting pictures or videos – We understand-your phone has limited space. It may be tempting to delete the videos or pictures that you took of your accident. But that information is evidence; don’t assume that the Defendant has its own picture or videos. Keep that information on your phone.
- Deleting information from social media – You are allowed to take things down from your social media posts. However, although you can remove a post or a picture or a video, you still have an obligation to preserve the information that you have taken down–in other words, you should not delete the original information that was posted on social media.
When you have a personal injury attorney, you will know exactly what you can and cannot do, in order to avoid getting into legal trouble later on.
Handling your injury case without an attorney can lead to real problems. Call the Clinton personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.