You Cannot Wait to Obtain Evidence in the Hands of a Third Party


August 14, 2017

Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Georgia Explain Why You Cannot Wait to Obtain Evidence in the Hands of a Third Party

Our personal injury attorneys at Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, have significant experience handling various personal injury cases all across Georgia and the southeast. Some of the most valuable evidence that helps prove our clients' cases lies in the hands of third parties who were not directly involved in the incident. Our experience has taught us how to acquire that information, be it documents, surveillance videos, computer files, or other information in the hands of another. We understand how to locate, preserve, and obtain the original piece of information from its source.

We have experienced many instances where some of the best evidence for our clients is out of their reach. Sometimes that evidence is the key ingredient leading to a large settlement or winning a trial. That is why, in the appropriate cases, we thoroughly investigate our clients' cases so we can discover whether third parties have information that will help our clients.

Experience teaches us that action must be taken in certain cases to preserve evidence in the hands of a defendant. Many items, such a surveillance video, is lost after a short time frame. For example, a typical video recording system operating in a convenience store or gas station will record over other footage if someone does not take action on the recording system itself, which is usually a digital video recorder, to preserve the video. The system records over the previous video to save electronic memory at regular intervals. Sometimes the interval is as short as 24 hours; other times it is seven days. Other larger systems have a greater capacity to store images for longer, but it all depends on the particular system. Preserving the video usually requires no greater expertise than locating the time in question, determining how many views captured the incident, then downloading the video — and the proprietary video player — is easy and frequently only requires a standard USB thumb drive to preserve the desired recording.

Of course, if one of our clients slips and falls in a convenience store and is injured, we expect the convenience store owner to preserve the video. What if, however, one of our clients is injured in a car accident in the parking lot of a shopping plaza, for instance, and the business' surveillance system captures the incident on their surveillance video? How do we obtain that information and preserve it so we can use it to help our client?

Georgia law allows litigants to take any number of steps to procure the desired information. For one, there is no harm in asking. A business might simply turn the information over to us upon request. If the business will not do so or cannot because of their security policy, then we must take other steps to preserve the information. Many times, merely sending a letter directing the company to preserve information is enough to compel them to do so under the law. If the party then loses the information for some reason, they can be negatively affected in litigation later. 

Like many other aspects cases involving negligence, injured victims will benefit most from contacting our attorneys at Montlick & Associates within a short time frame after their accidents. Every hour that passes increases the likelihood that valuable evidence could be lost. Thus, do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as you have a limited time to pursue a claim not only due to statutes of limitations and other legal deadlines, but also because of the inherent risks in disappearing evidence and witnesses.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 33 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have been injured in any type of accident involving someone else's negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today to learn about your legal rights as well as what steps can be taken to protect those rights. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Our personal injury attorneys have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty-three years.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Sources:

Phillips v. OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Ga: Court of Appeals 2017

Owens v. American Refuse Systems, Inc., 536 SE 2d 782 - Ga: Court of Appeals 2000

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.