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Preserving Evidence for an Injury Claim with an Anti-Spoliation Letter

evidence written under magnifying glassIt is up to the injury victim to prove he or she was injured because of the negligence of another party. You are going to need evidence to show the other party’s carelessness and evidence to link that carelessness to the cause of your injuries.

The problem is evidence could get lost, get damaged or even be destroyed. Even if you gather evidence at the scene, other vital evidence could be tampered with, making it harder to prove your claim.

The good news is you have the option of hiring an experienced attorney who can take steps to protect evidence, such as drafting a letter of spoliation or anti-spoliation letter. While these letters are often used in truck accident cases, they can be used in any personal injury case.

The licensed Harrisburg-based personal injury attorneys at Schmidt Kramer discuss spoliation letters and how they can be used to protect evidence for an injury claim. If you were injured and you think another’s negligence was involved, give us a call today at discuss how we may be able to assist you. We represent injured victims at no upfront cost.

How a Spoliation Letter May Help Your Claim

The simple definition of a spoliation letter or anti-spoliation letter is a formal notice to the opposing party in a legal claim to preserve evidence that is relevant to the case. In other words, these letters say evidence cannot be lost, altered, damaged or destroyed.

Typically, these letters are drafted in cases where the opposing party possesses evidence that is material to the claim, such as a commercial truck accident case. The truck company often has a variety of records that could help prove the driver’s or trucking company’s negligence.

While it is illegal to intentionally destroy evidence, drafting and sending a formal spoliation letter can still be a good idea. The letter is likely to improve your chances of obtaining the evidence you need. Sending the letter also puts you in a better position to take legal action if evidence gets destroyed or damaged in some way.

Another factor to remember is defendants may be allowed to dispose of some evidence after a certain period, especially if you fail to send an anti-spoliation letter.

Our firm is prepared to send spoliation letters to the appropriate parties on your behalf. Often, these letters are sent soon after the injured victim hires an attorney. For example, in a truck crash case, letters could be sent to the truck driver, his or her employer and other parties that may bear liability. These letters may also be sent to property owners, business owners, medical providers and even government agencies.

It is important to send these letters right away because the opposing parties have an incentive to conceal or even destroy evidence.

What is Included in a Spoliation Letter?

A spoliation letter lists the evidence that must be preserved. It is important that the attorney is as specific as possible when drafting the letter. The opposing party is likely to be looking for any potential loophole that it thinks may allow for tampering with evidence.

The spoliation letter also states the victim’s intention to take legal action or the intent to take legal action in the future.

It is best to have an experienced attorney draft the letter to be sure it has the necessary information.

What Evidence Can a Spoliation Letter Protect?

Your attorney can determine what evidence to protect in a spoliation letter. It is important to hire an experienced attorney so you can rest assured he or she knows what evidence needs protecting. Some of the evidence that is often mentioned in anti-spoliation letters includes:

  • Debris from the scene of the accident/crash
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Data from the driver/at-fault party’s mobile device
  • Data from a vehicle’s event data recorder
  • Surveillance video of the accident/crash
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Vehicle inspection records
  • The at-fault party’s vehicle
  • Employment records for the driver
  • Pictures taken at the scene
  • Social media posts
  • Medical records
  • Phone records
  • Emails
  • Alcohol and drug testing records
  • Information about the driver’s licenses/permits
  • And more

Schmidt Kramer is Ready to Help You. Call to Learn More

For more than 30 years, Schmidt Kramer has been advocating for the injured in the state of Pennsylvania. We have recovered millions on their behalf.

We know how to preserve evidence and build a strong case as we seek full compensation for your damages. We manage each step of the process for our clients.

Free consultation. Zero upfront costs. Call: (717) 727-2089.