Is the at-fault party legally required evidence preservation? No.
California Law does not require evidence preservation from anybody. The California Supreme Court ruled that there is no separate tort for intentional spoliation or destruction of evidence, i.e. valid legal reason to sue. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1. The Court held that there are other remedies to prevent a party from destroying or suppressing evidence.
One of the remedies is stated in the California Jury Instructions 204, which states that if one party intentionally concealed or destroyed evidence…then the jury may decide that the evidence would have been unfavorable to that party. Another remedy is Code of Civil Procedure section 2023, which establishes monetary sanctions, contempt sanctions or issue sanctions. Another deterrent is disciplinary actions by the State Bar of California for attorneys participating in any way in the destruction of evidence.
What happens now for the injured victim? What if there is a video surveillance video that is in the other party’s possession? What if there are pictures? What if there are witness statements crucial to your case? What do you do? Does it seem like they have all the cards stacked on their side? It shouldn’t, if you know what you are doing. We do. We have the experience necessary. We have the knowledge to help. Contact The Law Firm of R. Sam now.