Spoliation Of Evidence Letter – What Is It And What Needs To Be Included?

Injuries caused by the negligence of an individual or company can lead to personal injury lawsuits. These cases can sometimes be difficult to prove, especially if the evidence is destroyed by the responsible party. One way to ensure that the evidence isn't destroyed is by sending a spoliation of evidence letter.

What is a spoliation of evidence letter?

Spoliation of evidence is the negligent withholding, fabrication, removal, destruction or altering of evidence that could be relevant to a legal case.

A spoliation of evidence letter is used to stop the responsible party from destroying, hiding or altering the evidence that may be needed to prove your case against them. The letter is written and sent to alert the party of the need for the evidence and makes certain that they are held responsible for anything that might happen to the evidence before it is collected and documented.

If the party proceeds with the destruction or removal of the evidence, they can be held responsible for their actions and could face time behind bars, as well as fines.

What information needs to be included in a spoliation of evidence letter?

Failure to include the required information will make the letter less effective in aiding you in proving your case. You need to include:

  • Names of the persons involved who will receive the letter.
  • A request that the evidence not be destroyed – make it known that the evidence will be collected through discovery. Include a request to stop computer maintenance procedures that could automatically delete information you need for your case.
  • Potential evidence needed – video monitoring recordings, log books, computer files and hard drives, materials involved with the incident, etc.

Do you need an attorney to write the spoliation of evidence letter?

The spoliation of evidence letter can be written by the injured party, but it oftentimes has more of an impact coming from a practicing lawyer. It is also important that the letter include everything that may be beneficial to the case, and this information is more well-known by a lawyer that has written many of these letters over the years. So, yes, you can write your own, but it would be best to have it written by the lawyer that you will be using to represent your interests when/if the case goes to court.

Talk with your personal injury lawyer (like those at Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.) to learn more about spoliation of evidence letters and to determine if you have a case against the responsible party.