Personal injury cases are some of the most challenging cases to litigate in court. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant is liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiff.
The evidence to prove this negligence and liability can often be weak and inconclusive. However, the outcome can change drastically when surveillance footage is available.
Here, our San Diego personal injury attorneys will discuss the importance of surveillance footage in personal injury cases and how it can work towards providing valuable evidence for a plaintiff’s case.
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Surveillance Footage as It Pertains to Personal Injury Cases
Surveillance footage is any video footage obtained through surveillance cameras. You can get this footage from various sources, such as traffic, security, and mobile phone cameras.
When used in court, the footage typically captured images of people, vehicles, or other objects relevant to the case at hand. The footage may also capture events and things not originally witnessed at the time of the incident that may prove valuable in supporting the plaintiff’s claim.
To legally obtain the footage, your attorney may issue a subpoena to get it, especially if you are refused it.
How Is Surveillance Footage Used in Personal Injury Cases?
You or your attorney can use this footage to support your claim in several ways, including:
- Providing a visual record of the accident: Surveillance footage can show precisely what happened during the accident and who was involved. This visual evidence can be particularly persuasive in court and help establish liability and maximize your compensation.
- Showing the extent of your injuries: Surveillance footage can also show the extent of your injuries and how they have affected your daily life. This can help demonstrate the severity of your injuries and their impact on your ability to work or enjoy your usual activities.
- Verifying your version of events: Surveillance footage can provide an unbiased record of events if there are conflicting accounts of what happened during the accident. This can help confirm your version of events and support your claim.
For instance, if a person was injured in a car accident, surveillance footage from a nearby traffic camera might show who was at fault. Similarly, if someone was injured in a slip-and-fall accident, surveillance footage from a nearby security camera may show what caused the fall and whether the property owner was negligent.
While this footage is helpful, it’s not without its challenges. Depending on how, when, and where the surveillance footage was obtained, the defense may argue against its credibility and validity in court.
Surveillance Footage Challenges in Personal Injury Cases
While surveillance footage can be valuable evidence in personal injury cases, the plaintiff must overcome some challenges to use the footage in court successfully.
For example, the defense may challenge the admissibility of the footage by arguing that it was obtained illegally or is irrelevant to the case.
Additionally, the defense may attempt to undermine the credibility of the footage by arguing that it has been edited or altered in some way. Therefore, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate these challenges and ensure that the surveillance footage is admissible in court is essential.
Tips for Injured Parties Using Surveillance Footage in Court
If you have been injured in an accident and believe that surveillance footage may be available, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights and improve your chances of success in court:
- First, contacting legal counsel as soon as possible after the accident is essential. Your attorney can help you gather evidence, including surveillance footage, and advise you on the best action.
- Second, suppose you already know of any surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident or its aftermath. In that case, documenting the location of the cameras and the date and time of the incident is crucial. This information can help your attorney locate and obtain the footage.
- Finally, being aware of your actions and behavior in public places after the accident is also crucial. This includes your behavior on social media, as any posts or pictures that contradict your claims of injury could be used against you in court. Your attorney can advise you on how to best protect your case in these situations.
Work With Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Surveillance footage can be valuable evidence in personal injury cases but is subject to certain legal standards and challenges.
By taking the appropriate steps and working with an attorney, you can protect your rights and improve your chances of success in court.
We at HHJ Trial Attorneys are experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation if you have been injured in an accident and believe that surveillance footage may be relevant to your situation.
We can help you understand your legal options, take steps to obtain the footage and work with you to build a strong case. Remember, time is of the essence in personal injury cases, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.