Preservation of Evidence in Vehicle Collisions with Bikers or Pedestrians

Jim Buddenbaum and lawyers at Parr Richey are currently investigating and prosecuting claims against a speeding driver using his mobile phone who struck a Monon Trail user. It is critical to sequester and preserve evidence early in the aftermath of such incidents, including mobile phone and automobile “black box” data, in order to make a claim.

Indiana law requires the preservation of evidence when the need for that evidence can be reasonably anticipated. Failure to preserve such evidence is called “spoliation.” Spoliation of evidence is “`the intentional destruction, mutilation, alteration, or concealment of evidence.'” Cahoon v. Cummings, 734 N.E.2d 535, 545 (Ind.2000) (quoting Black’s Law Dictionary 1409 (7th ed.1999)). If spoliation by a party to a lawsuit is proved, rules of evidence permit the jury to infer that the missing evidence was unfavorable to that party. Id.