Spoliation of Evidence
All motor vehicle accidents are stressful experiences. However, this stress and the potential for life-threatening injuries are increased when a truck is involved. Additionally, the possibility for spoliation of evidence, when it is lost or destroyed, is higher with these types of collisions, since more individuals and entities are involved in the investigation process. The Miami truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon help victims make sure that the proper steps are taken following a serious accident. Robert Dixon and his staff have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies, trucking companies, and other parties involved in the aftermath of a collision. Since profits and reputations may be put at risk if litigation is pursued, trucking companies may have motives to hinder the process. Making sure that you are properly represented is important to preserving your rights. If you have been injured as a result of a truck crash, contact our office to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.Gathering and Spoliation of Evidence
In a personal injury lawsuit stemming from a truck accident, certain evidence is generally useful to show that a driver, a trucking company, or another defendant was negligent. Negligence arises when an individual, such as a driver, breaches their duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act given similar circumstances, causing an injury and related damages. Evidence such as a truck driver’s log books - which indicate the number of hours that they have been traveling - may be vital to show that a driver was fatigued while behind the wheel before the crash. A trucking company, either as a negligent driver’s employer or because of its own negligence, may also be held responsible for a collision. For instance, a trucking company that is not following state or federal laws that regulate the commercial truck industry or that does not conduct proper background checks of its drivers may be found negligent in contributing to an accident.
In Florida, all of the parties involved in an accident have a responsibility to preserve evidence if a legal action is reasonably foreseeable. In truck accidents in which a victim is seriously injured, a lawsuit is a reasonably foreseeable event. Spoliation of evidence, also known as destruction of evidence, occurs when a party with a vested interest in the outcome of litigation either negligently or intentionally destroys or loses key evidence. This practice is particularly detrimental to victims, since the burden of proof in civil claims rests with them to show that a defendant acted negligently in causing a crash.
Because of the significant impact that spoliation may have on a claim, courts are given the power to impose tough sanctions on an offending party. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the loss or destruction of evidence, a judge may choose from an array of sanctions. These may include excluding certain testimony, imposing fines, or establishing an evidentiary presumption regarding the missing evidence. In more extreme cases, a court may decide to dismiss the case or enter a default judgment on behalf of the innocent party. Victims have a lot at stake in a truck accident case, especially when their injuries result in costly medical expenses, time away from work, or a permanent inability to do the job that they once could. As a result, consulting a knowledgeable injury attorney following a crash is imperative to ensure that the evidence involved is handled appropriately.Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with a Miami Lawyer
It may be difficult to even recognize that a party has interfered with evidence, especially if a plaintiff is not familiar with proper bookkeeping practices or is trying to deal with injuries while at the scene of an accident. The Miami attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon assist victims with identifying and taking action against parties that destroy important evidence. Our firm proudly serves people in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and other cities in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. If you are seeking legal advice after being involved in a trucking accident, call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.