In personal injury cases, before a case reaches trial, the parties engage in the discovery process. Discovery is the stage of litigation at which the parties exchange requested information that is relevant to the case or may lead to the discovery of other relevant evidence.
The rules of discovery require that parties make certain evidence available for the opposing side, even if that evidence is not favorable to the party that possesses the evidence. Along those lines, the rules prohibit the destruction of discoverable evidence. A recent Georgia personal injury case takes a look at when a plaintiff’s obligation to preserve evidence arises.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was the surviving spouse of a man who was involved in a serious car accident after the tread on one of his vehicle’s tires separated. After the accident, the plaintiff’s husband was taken to the hospital, where he remained unresponsive for several days.