Destroying Key Evidence

Destroying or altering evidence is a big deal.  When someone negligently or intentionally destroys or discards or alters key evidence in a case, it is like they are thumbing their nose at the judicial process!  And, while it may seem at first that the party destroying the evidence is getting the upper hand by making it harder to show their fault or guilt, there are strong consequences that courts can employ when you show that the other party had a duty to preserve evidence and failed to do so.

For example, at the moment when litigation is filed, threatened, or reasonably anticipated by another party, a duty to preserve evidence immediately arises.  There are strict rules on how information is to be safeguarded and preserved by both individuals and organizations.  Tangible evidence (such as an object), documents, data, and electronically stored information (including e-mails and social media posts), must specifically be preserved and protected.

What are the consequences for a party who destroys evidence?  The court can dismiss that party’s claims or defenses altogether, or it can preclude or prevent other evidence from being admitted.  What is more, the court can even instruct the jurors that they are permitted to infer that whatever evidence a party has destroyed, discarded, or altered was unfavorable to it.  So while a party might initially think they’re being clever and helping themselves by destroying evidence that is damaging to them, it can come back to haunt that party and cost them their case.

If your injury case occurred in Indiana, call our personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of David W. Holub at (219)736-9700 today.

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