Spoliation of Evidence
Following a truck collision, victims are entitled to bring a legal claim against all at-fault parties for compensation. During this process, the attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck help people throughout the Chicago area who have suffered injuries in an accident involving a tractor-trailer. Whether a crash involved a delivery vehicle or a flatbed truck, we understand that this type of serious motor vehicle accident can cause dire physical and emotional harm. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys are committed to holding all at-fault parties accountable and ensuring that our clients receive the compensation that they deserve. Part of this process involves trying to prevent the spoliation of evidence and holding a defendant responsible when it does happen.Trucking Companies May be Held Legally Responsible for Spoliation of Evidence
People harmed in a truck accident can pursue a personal injury claim against the truck driver and potentially the trucking company as their employer. These legal claims provide a method to recover compensation that helps victims ease the financial burdens that follow a crash, including the costs of medical care, missed wages from work, and other expenses. Due to the typically severe impact of a truck accident, losses can be substantial, and victims can be left devastated, enduring a decreased quality of life.
Spoliation is a legal claim that is appropriate when a party to a lawsuit has not properly preserved evidence relevant to the lawsuit. In order to bring a spoliation claim, it is important that there was a duty to preserve information or evidence. In many situations, a party knows or should know that evidence is relevant to litigation when it reasonably anticipates the litigation.
Usually, in truck accident cases, negligence is the legal claim asserted by the accident victim. Proving that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached this duty, and directly led to the accident and injuries is essential to a successful claim. After proving liability, the victim will be entitled to damages that stem from their injuries and accident-related costs.
While there are many causes of a truck accident, including improper maintenance of trucks, speeding, and over-the-counter drug use, examining the evidence can show how the driver was careless in a specific situation. Evidence plays a large role in a personal injury claim, since it supports the plaintiff’s allegations of negligent conduct. As the plaintiff in a personal injury claim, the victim must prove the elements of their case, but spoliation of evidence can prevent them from pursuing their claim.
In a claim for spoliation of evidence, the accident victim and their attorney allege that the defendant should be sanctioned for failing to preserve evidence central to the lawsuit. The plaintiff victim must have put the defendant on notice of the legal claim, or a potential legal claim, so that the defendant is aware of their duty to preserve the evidence. This legal standard requires the party asserting the claim to show that the defendant knew or should have known that the evidence was relevant to pending litigation.
The types of evidence that may be relevant in a truck accident claim include electronic data and emails. In some situations, there may be an unintentional removal of electronic data, such as black box or other records. In order to successfully bring a spoliation of evidence claim, the victim must show that the evidence was destroyed intentionally and that the evidence had been relevant to the underlying legal claim.Protect Your Legal Rights After a Truck Accident by Hiring a Diligent Chicago Attorney
After suffering injuries in a truck crash, victims have a legal right to pursue compensation from the truck driver or company that caused the accident. At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago lawyers bring many years of experience to our legal representation of people hurt by the careless or reckless conduct of truck drivers and trucking companies. Trucking companies may be held responsible for conduct that makes it unfairly challenging to pursue a legal resolution of a claim. To more fully understand your legal rights, contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 444-1525. We also help truck crash victims in Aurora, Rockford, Springfield, Quincy, Champaign, and other communities in Kane, Cook, Sangamon, Adams, and Winnebago Counties.