Video evidence is both compelling and reliable, as it can’t be questioned. Most often, what you see in video evidence is undeniable. If the at-fault party has previously denied fault or even denied that the accident occurred at all, video evidence can easily prove them wrong.
There are plenty of cameras out there that are constantly recording, meaning that it’s always possible to have your accident captured on tape without you even realizing it. Footage can be deleted, so it’s essential that your attorney contacts anyone in the area who might have had a video of the accident before it’s too late.
Types of Video Footage Commonly Used in Personal Injury Cases
Various types of cameras are constantly rolling and may happen to catch your accident, including:
- Dashcams: Some vehicles come with built-in dashcams, so your vehicle may have captured the car accident as it occurred.
- Law enforcement: Frequently, local law enforcement will have video cameras set up around the city for the sole purpose of catching accidents and crimes.
- Indoor or outdoor security cameras: Most businesses have the security of some kind, either outdoor, indoor, or both. If there were any businesses near the scene of your car accident, you might be able to recover video footage from them. Home security cameras could also catch an accident.
- Traffic cameras: Traffic cameras are constantly rolling, trying to catch people running red lights. Not only can they see an accident if it occurs near an intersection, but they’ll be able to tell you whether or not a party ran a red light, which could prove their negligence.
- Witnesses’ phones: In rare circumstances, an accident could be caught on the phone of a bystander. As car accidents often happen without any forewarning, personal phones aren’t usually used for video evidence. However, in the case of medical malpractice cases, nursing home abuse, and other more personal cases, video from personal phones may be used.
Expert Analysis: Interpreting Video Evidence Effectively
There were nearly 400,000 car accidents in Florida in 2022. More than 800,000 people across the country require hospitalization after a fall. Since it seems cameras are everywhere, there’s a good chance there’s footage of most of these accidents.
Video is one of the most powerful forms of personal injury evidence. It serves as a vital visual record, aiding in establishing the accident timeline, identifying the individuals involved, and reconstructing the accident. But that doesn’t mean a video will automatically win your case, no matter how compelling it may be.
There can sometimes be issues with the video. The quality might not be perfect. The camera may have a limited perspective and not show the entire accident. Weather concerns, such as heavy rain, could interfere with the picture.
Thankfully, several technological tools can overcome many of these issues. These tools include video enhancement software, facial recognition technology, and object-tracking algorithms. But nothing will take the place of human expertise.
Expert witnesses can play a critical role in interpreting video evidence. Trained analysts can understand the context of a video, recognize patterns, and discern essential details an untrained eye might miss. Other crucial aspects of using video evidence include maintaining the chain of custody and ensuring the video is admissible in court.
Challenges and Solutions in Obtaining Video Evidence
A seasoned personal injury lawyer will have access to experts who can analyze video evidence and make your case its strongest. However, an attorney is even more critical in procuring the video in the first place. Many challenges can arise when trying to obtain video evidence.
You may know a camera captured the accident, but the owner of that camera won’t necessarily give it to you if you ask. You’ll need an attorney to ensure you can get the footage. A lawyer can subpoena the owner to force them to turn over the footage.
In some instances, obtaining video evidence requires the cooperation of several parties. These parties could include private entities, law enforcement, and others. A seasoned lawyer will know how to coordinate the sharing of footage.
What types of personal injury incidents can video evidence help win?
Video surveillance footage can help strengthen any personal injury case, from motor vehicle accidents to slip and falls. When an act of negligence is caught on camera, it’s hard to argue against it.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, video footage may be able to show the liable party speeding, running a red light, texting, drifting into another lane, or otherwise driving with negligence.
Most commercial trucks have dashcams as they transport thousands of dollars of merchandise around the country. In the case that a truck driver is at fault for the accident, it will likely be caught by the dashcam.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
If you have a bicycle or pedestrian accident claim, traffic cameras, dash cameras, video surveillance footage, and security cameras can help to prove someone else’s negligence. For example, a driver may claim that they came to a full stop before a crosswalk or stop sign. However, you may be able to prove that they’re lying by looking at camera footage of the accident.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls most often occur inside of businesses. These could be due to messes that haven’t been cleaned up or in parking lots because of parking lot hazards. In these cases, the footage was likely captured by the company who’s at fault for your injuries.
Video will clearly show how the accident occurred and for what reason. However, this footage must be procured before the company deletes it.
Proving medical malpractice is famously hard. Doctors are seen as trustworthy, so juries are often persuaded to their side simply because they’re doctors. If you’re being mistreated by a doctor, it’s a good idea to record a video. In Florida, your doctor must be aware that you’re recording, so it may be tricky to get good evidence. However, if you’re recording, you’ll be able to catch any suspected negligence or prevent it.
Nursing Home Abuse
Video footage is used similarly in nursing home abuse cases as it is in medical malpractice cases. Nursing homes may have cameras up that could capture evidence, but it’s unlikely. You may want to try recording footage of your family member’s treatment.
Documenting nursing home abuse with solid evidence will almost certainly guarantee that you can get justice for your loved one’s abuse. Letting nursing home attendants know that you’re filming is also a good way to prevent abuse from occurring altogether.
What to do if you’re injured in a personal injury incident?
If you’ve experienced personal injury, there are a few steps you should follow after the accident.
- First, you should make sure that everyone involved is okay and doesn’t require emergency medical attention. You should then contact the police to start filing a police report. This really only applies to certain incidents, such as a car accident or other motor vehicle accident.
- You should gather information from everyone involved in the accident. For example, drivers, shop owners, doctors, nursing home attendants, and anyone else who may have played a part in causing the accident.
- You should take pictures and document as much evidence as you can while still at the accident scene. Look for any cameras or any places that may have cameras and make notes of them.
- Once you leave the scene, receive medical attention (except for in the case of medical malpractice). You should seek medical attention even if you don’t believe that you’re injured.
- Before you file a claim with your insurance company, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. Speaking to an attorney first can help prevent damage to your case. Insurance companies will likely try to get you to sign away your ability to file in exchange for a quick and low settlement offer.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
After your personal injury accident, you could be left with severe and devastating injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries. These accidents can leave the victim with high medical bills and a huge change to their quality of life.
You can receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages cover non-monetary losses like pain and suffering and loss of earning capacity.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to Represent Your Injury Claim
If you or someone you love has been injured in a personal injury accident, please contact a personal injury attorney at The Eberst Law Firm for help with your personal injury claim.
Your personal injury claim is important to us. We’ll do everything within our power to help ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 386-224-6544.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I obtain video evidence for my personal injury case?
The best way to obtain video personal injury evidence is to speak with a lawyer. They have the legal tools to get the footage and the experience to assess its relevance. Non-lawyers will have a much harder time accessing surveillance systems, smartphones, and law enforcement videos.
What types of video evidence are most effective in personal injury cases?
Various types of video evidence can be very effective. Surveillance footage, for example, can show the accident and the environment that led to it happening. Videos can also demonstrate the impact of your injury on your life, such as how it affected your mobility.
Can video evidence be challenged in court?
Like any other kind of evidence, the opposition can challenge video evidence. The defendant could question the video’s authenticity, claim that it’s inadmissible based on legal grounds, and make other arguments. However, a skilled attorney can effectively counter those challenges.
Are there privacy concerns regarding video evidence?
Yes, privacy concerns can be a significant issue when using video as personal injury evidence. At The Eberst Law Firm, however, our lawyers know how to ensure we always obtain footage in compliance with all privacy laws and regulations.