In this day and age, video cameras are everywhere. Video evidence of the car accident causing your personal injuries is often the best evidence of what happened to you. Like the old saying says, “A picture is worth 1000 words.”
But what if a defendant has video of your auto accident and destroys it? That’s what lawyers call “spoliation”. Spoliation happens when a defendant destroys evidence, knowing that the evidence is relevant to your litigation. If a defendant is found guilty of spoliation by a judge, the judge can either direct a verdict in your favor or instruct the jury that the evidence would have been in your favor if it still existed.
With spoliation, as with any evidence, time is of the essence. First, the defendant only has a duty to preserve the evidence if he knows or has reason to know that the accident is going to result in litigation. This means that you, or your lawyer, must put the defendant on notice that you want the video, or other evidence, to be preserved. Secondly, with video evidence, many retail establishments tape over their video surveillance disc after a short period of time, such as 10 days or two weeks. This could mean that if you do not request preservation of the video footage immediately, the video footage may be destroyed and you will not be able to claim that the defendant is guilty of spoliation.
Pennsylvania law and federal law in this circuit are almost identical in this area so spoliation of evidence is an issue with any accident cases brought in state court or federal court.
Call the Philadelphia Auto Accident Attorneys at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Immediately to Help Prevent Spoliation of Evidence
If you or a family member is injured in an auto accident, it is imperative that contact an experienced, knowledgeable and diligent car accident attorney as soon as possible. The accident attorneys at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates in Philadelphia are dedicated to fighting for your rights and your maximum recovery, and therefore will work hard to preserve and gather any and all evidence that strengthens your case. But “time is of the essence” in many situations, so don’t hesitate to consult with our attorneys as soon as possible. We answer calls 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week and all accident consultations are free. Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online.