What Happens When One Party Attempts To Hide Evidence In A Personal Injury Case?
When involved in a personal injury lawsuit, the other side must in good faith hold onto all documents that might be considered relevant to the case. These documents should not be altered. Also, the other side should provide these documents when requested. However, in some cases, you will need help from a personal injury attorney to make sure that these documents are preserved and that remedies are sought if the documents are not preserved.
Remedies When Documents Are Held Back
When the other side is holding back or altering documents, your attorney may bring this matter to the court, and the other side might be sanctioned as a result. Also, evidence that might benefit the other side could be suppressed so that it cannot be introduced in court. This allows you to avoid a situation where evidence is suddenly sprung on your lawyer that they are not prepared for.
Evidence is considered inadmissible if it is suppressed. As a result, the jury will not be able to hear the evidence and this will affect the case. This is considered proper. However, the withholding or concealing of evidence is considered another form of suppression and isn't considered proper.
Actions Taken To Preserve Evidence
After an accident, it's important to make sure that you consult with a personal injury attorney immediately because there may be a limited amount of time to preserve evidence. For example, in a car accident involving a commercial truck, there will be a black box inside the truck that can contain evidence that could be used to prove your case.
Unfortunately, commercial truck companies will often attempt to scrub information from the scene of the accident including the black box. Your attorney will need to quickly file a motion to preserve evidence. Other types of evidence you may try to preserve include social media posts, text messages, emails, and debris left behind at the scene of the accident.
The Statute of Limitations
One of the reasons why a statute of limitations exists is because it can be more difficult to prove a case the more time that passes as evidence tends to disappear. Therefore, you will want to act quickly in a personal injury case.
Also, failure to act quickly can lead to evidence being more difficult to obtain, and the evidence you do obtain might be degraded and less useful. Even if you believe you cannot afford an attorney, you should consider participating in a free consultation.