Any party in a Texas bicycle accident claim or other legal proceeding is required to preserve evidence relevant to that claim. Texas courts have held that a duty to preserve evidence arises when a party knows or reasonably should know “that there is a substantial chance that a claim will be filed and that evidence in its possession or control will be material and relevant to that claim.”
Spoliation of evidence is a failure to preserve evidence. If a party fails to preserve evidence, it can harm the opposing party’s ability to present or defend a claim. Therefore, if a party fails to reasonably preserve discoverable evidence, it is a serious issue with potentially drastic consequences.
Texas courts have discretion in addressing the issue of spoliation. In a Texas Supreme Court case, Brookshire Bros. v. Aldridge, the court held that the judge, rather than the jury, must decide whether a party spoliated evidence and then determine the appropriate remedy. Possible remedies include an instruction to the jury, an award of attorney’s fees, exclusion of evidence, and dismissal of a party’s claims.
Houston Man Seeks Court Order to Preserve Evidence After Wife Killed in Crash
A man recently filed for a temporary restraining order after his wife was killed in a bicycle crash near Rice University last month, according to one news article. He is seeking a restraining order against the trucking company of the dump truck that was involved in the crash. The restraining order is intended to prohibit the company from changing, altering, or destroying any evidence related to the crash.
According to police, the man’s wife was biking onto a crosswalk when the dump truck turned onto the street and struck her. She had just left lunch with her husband, who works at the university. Police say that both the bicyclist and the driver had a green light. Police initially noted that the woman may have been at fault, but bicycle safety advocates have pushed back against that claim.
The husband’s lawyers stated that they plan to use the evidence to conduct an investigation in order to determine who was at fault for the crash. They hope to clear his wife’s name, who they claim was not at fault. One of the pieces of evidence they hope to preserve is a “black box” data recorder, which might have recorded the speed at which the truck was traveling before the crash.
Contact an Aggressive Personal Injury Attorney in the San Antonio Area
If you have been injured in a Texas bicycle accident, it is important to act quickly to make sure that relevant evidence is preserved. At Carabin Shaw, we are vigilant in protecting the rights and interests of our clients. We aggressively represent individuals across Texas who have suffered catastrophic injuries. With over 200 years of combined experience in personal injury law, we are ready to help clients find solutions to the challenges that arise after a serious accident. Call us at 1-800-862-1260 or use our online form to set up a free appointment.
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