What to Do When Injuries and Accidents are Caught on Video
Video can come from many sources, and it’s likely that your accident was caught on video. Not only do people immediately pull out their cameras to record something unexpected or of an injury taking place, but many stores have surveillance equipment. Your personal injury attorney may be able to use this as evidence in your case.
What it Means for Your Case When Your Accident is Caught on Video
Usually, video evidence is a “slam dunk” for any case, except when a person is trying to get away with something less than honest. For most people who are hurt in car accidents, slip-and-falls, dog bites, or even construction site accidents, video evidence is a saving grace.
A video of you falling in a store of someone crashing into you while you’re stopped at a light, or if someone outright attacking you clearly shows that you are the victim in the situation. Additionally, if your case does move forward to trial, video is compelling evidence for both juries and judges. It is the sense that when someone sees something with their own eyes, it must be true.
How to Access Video Evidence
For many people accessing video, evidence is the biggest issue. Many people often believe that companies will simply hand over the video because it’s the right thing to do. However, that’s hardly ever the case.
Even when a company isn’t involved at all, they may be hesitant. For example, say that you are stopped at a red light, and someone comes in and crashes into your car from behind. This intersection was visible from a nearby store, and they have an outdoor camera that captures the intersection. That store could hold onto that evidence until they receive a demand for it from either the police for an investigation or from an attorney as part of the discovery process.
When handling evidence and attempting to attain video evidence, it’s always best to have an attorney handle it. They are familiar with how people attempt to avoid handing over evidence and how to ensure that they eventually do provide the necessary evidence.
It also comes into play when you’re worried about who to contact. The example above referenced a store, but that same crash could have been caught on a traffic camera, or city surveillance camera. In those cases, the request for the evidence may need to go through to the city, county, or police department.
Can Companies Deny Access to Footage of Accidents Caught on Video?
Unlike audio recording, which has many laws regulating its use in criminal investigations and lawsuits, video recording is largely free. Technically, companies, cities, individuals, and even phone companies have no requirement to provide video recordings until they receive a subpoena.
Now, many companies will provide the video to the police as a common courtesy. Those same companies will likely not provide the video evidence to any law team without a subpoena. At that point, it’s not just about professional courtesy. It’s about handing over ownership and not knowing what the other persons involved might do with that video.
Individuals who record incidents are often happy to provide the evidence. However, they may not realize that it’s not always their “recording” to give. Phone companies that maintain ownership of the phone and its data may not hand over recordings until receiving a subpoena.
Ultimately, it comes down to the need for a subpoena. Inform your attorney that video evidence exists and that you need it to prove your case so they can begin the process of acquiring it legally.
In personal injury or car accident cases, the goal is to prove negligence. Showing that someone owed you a certain level of care and that they failed means that they were negligent. This can include establishments such as restaurants or schools as well as public places such as bus stops and libraries.
Most personal injury claims rely on proving culpable negligence to some degree. Having your accident caught on video can show that someone exposed you to risk or directly led to your injuries.
Contact Winters & Yonker, P.A. to Connect with a Tampa Bay Personal Injury Attorney
After an injury or accident, you may know of evidence that can make your claim successful. However, if you don’t have the means or drive to access that evidence, it may seem like all is lost. Get the help of an attorney and gather all the evidence necessary to showcase your side of the story.
Contact Winters & Yonker, P.A. for experienced legal guidance. Our legal team helps people starting with a free consultation. Together we can create a strong case and hopefully help you recover fair compensation.