If you suspect that critical evidence in your injury case is being hidden, you might still wonder how to proceed. Fortunately, the legal system takes this type of problem very seriously. If you think there's something fishy going on with the evidence in your case, here are three things you should consider.
Do Not Intervene on Your Own
Instead of handling this alone, share your concerns with your attorney. When you talk with a personal injury attorney about a case where there is a fair amount of material evidence involves, they will inquire about any items of evidence that needs to be preserved. Your lawyer will send a letter to any parties that might be in possession of evidence informing them that there is a pending claim or lawsuit. This enacts a freeze legally requiring them to find the items in question and make sure they're secured.
How Do You Get Evidence?
When a personal injury law services firm believes there is evidence that can be uncovered, they will pursue those items first through requests to the defendant's counsel. If this doesn't satisfy your attorney's demands, they can contact the court once litigation has started. The court can initiate the discovery process, which requires parties to turn over all evidence they have to the opposing counsel no matter how it reflects upon them.
Note that requests require a great deal of specificity. One of the most common delaying tactics in cases is for a defendant to say that a request wasn't specific enough. For example, a person involved in a slip-and-fall lawsuit against a grocery store needs to request surveillance tapes from the specific day of the incident in question and within a limited time frame. Fishing expeditions aren't allowed.
Another approach to dealing with the destruction of evidence is to pursue testimony during depositions. Most people are reluctant to lie under oath, and depositions are very open-ended. This will give your lawyer ample opportunity to ask if evidence has been destroyed and what happened to it.
Consider Asking for Sanctions
It can't be stated strongly enough how much the court frowns upon the destruction of evidence. The remedy, if destruction has happened, is to sanction the responsible party. One standard sanction is to presume whatever was contained in the evidence was sufficiently bad for the opposing side. The court may even enter a summary judgment against the offending party, meaning you automatically win the lawsuit. In extreme cases, the court may pursue criminal charges.
If you think someone is tampering with evidence, consider relying on personal injury law services to address the issue correctly.