Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Tips for Evidence Preservation

One of the most important tasks at the beginning of any personal injury case is to preserve as much evidence as possible. Having practiced personal injury cases in Kansas City for over 15 years, I’ve seen firsthand how important preserving evidence can be. Cases can be won or lost by it. Here are some of the things we do to make sure evidence is preserved.

1. Communicate early and often with the other side about preserving evidence.

Immediately after a major crash or as soon as we can, we tell the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier not to destroy or alter their car in any way. We do so not only with a phone call, but we always follow up in writing. We also make sure the defendant or their carrier knows there may be civil penalties in a court case if they fail to preserve the car.

2. Keep the device.

In a defective products case or a case where you got hurt because of a broken or dangerous device, always keep the device.

The manufacturer may ask you to send the device to them. Politely decline and tell them you will preserve it. They are welcome to inspect it at your convenience, but you must retain the product or device at all cost.

I had a case where a client injured her teeth on a piece of metal in her granola. She sent it to the granola manufacturer before hiring me. This made it nearly impossible to prove her case and we were forced to settle for less because of it.

3. Ask for surveillance footage

In case of a premises liability case where you’ve slipped or tripped and fell, always ask for surveillance footage. If possible, take pictures of the defect yourself or ask a loved one to get pictures. The store will likely clean up the spill of fix the defect that caused you to fall when you report it. As such, make sure you adequately capture what the defect look like before notifying the store.

These are just a few tips for evidence preservation. If you need help with preserving evidence in a personal injury matter, please don’t hesitate to contact our firm. We have years of experience with such cases and can help.