Why Requests to Preserve Evidence of an Accident Should Be Made Immediately

One reason a personal injury victim should get in touch with an Illinois lawyer right away is to aid in identifying and securing substantial evidence. This can include general evidence that might have a deadline in certain cases. Getting in touch with witnesses (who may change phone numbers or move), acquiring red light or speed cameras (that might be unavailable after a brief period) and securing surveillance footage (that’s usually taped over inside of 30 days).

surveillance - preserving evidence

If the request for preservation isn’t made quickly, that evidence won’t be available. This alone can mean losing the lawsuit. Vital evidence can sometimes be held by the negligent party. There could be surveillance footage of an accident that filmed the view of the incident.

The defendant’s car could have been totaled and subsequently scrapped after a severe car accident. Putting off your request to preserve evidence or to hire a lawyer for a month or more is often too long.

Sending A Letter of Preservation in McHenry County

When our attorneys identify crucial evidence that might be under the control of a probable defendant, we generally send an authorized letter (with a return receipt request) to that entity detailing our appeal and their duties concerning the evidence. The letter’s specific content should fit the case (do you have to protect electronically stored data, a parcel of physical proof or something more?).

The Spoliation Law

The legal term spoliation denotes deliberate destruction of evidence. This allows a judge or juror in Illinois to presume that the destroyed evidence was damaging to the destroying party’s defense.

It’s critical to confirm that the evidence’s holder knew or should’ve known that the evidence was significant and either willfully or negligently altered or destroyed the evidence to prove spoliation. When that is shown, the factfinder (jury or judge) is allowed to use that alteration or destruction as evidence of fault. It can also end in default judgments in serious cases—an immediate win for the side who requested the evidence.

Get in Touch With the Best McHenry County Personal Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been on the receiving end of a personal injury, speak with a Franks Gerkin McKenna representative online or at 815-923-2107. We specialize in personal injury, workers compensation, automobile injuries, medical malpractice lawsuits, and other pressing personal injury cases. We can determine the evidence that should be requested for preservation immediately.