Surveillance video is a powerful tool in many personal injury cases. Video footage has never been more accessible – or important to lawyers representing their clients. If there are two assessments of what happened during a car accident, there may be video footage available on the security camera from a nearby business to backup your claim.
On this Page:
- McMinn Law Firm attorney represents gravel truck crash victim
- Dash cam captures hit-and-run of pedestrians on sixth street
- Video surveillance and your personal injury case
- How to obtain surveillance footage
Video Provides Significant Evidence in Gravel Truck Crash
In early 2015, a horrific video surfaced of a gravel truck crash on 2222. If you watch the full dash-cam video, you can see a moment in one witness’ life – the audio from a learning Spanish audiobook, and a scenic drive in the hills of northwest Austin. At the end of the video the driver stops at the red light and waits for green. But out of the right corner pummels the red gravel truck completely unable to brake.
The truck hit 3 vehicles while crossing all six lanes of 2222. Witnesses pour out of their vehicles to assist victims of the collision. It’s a heart stopping 10 seconds, no doubt. Since March, the dramatic events have been viewed over 200,000 times online.
In this case, McMinn Law Firm used this video evidence to show how the truck was unable to brake. In the suit Justin McMinn used additional evidence to show a history of negligence. Watch Justin McMinn talk to KXAN about the driver’s record and evidence of an un-licensed mechanic hired to work on the brakes.
Surveillance video provided by the plaintiff or defendant may visualize physical evidence, or be used to craft an argument to sway a jury if the case goes to trial.
Can A Surveillance Video Help Your Personal Injury Case?
The attorneys at McMinn Law Firm know from experience that video surveillance is an important part of many personal injury cases. If you were injured at a bar, restaurant, mall, or other public place it is likely that there is video footage of when your injury occurred.
Why do businesses maintain video footage? Some shops may have had instances of theft by employees or want to prevent a robbery. Some states and municipalities require public places to install low cost surveillance video (but don’t hold your breath for Texas to require video surveillance.)
- Visible monitoring may deter theft or violence. A vandal may think twice about committing a crime on camera.
- Cameras provide a good source of evidence after a crime. In the event of a threat, victims may not feel safe to video an incident on their phones.
Using surveillance video to show what happened at the time of your accident may help your personal injury case. Evidence such as video can help to substantiate claims and prove fault in a car accident or premises liability case. Without proof, an accident can turn int0 a he-said/she-said. If there’s footage available, it’s essential to obtain it.
If surveillance video following the crash or injury does not show signs of pain or suffering, a jury may not be as sympathetic. Talk to a personal injury lawyer for legal counsel about video use in personal injury cases.
In the next section, McMinn Law Firm will identify how a personal injury victim can obtain important video for their case.
How to Obtain Surveillance Video
Surveillance video is all around us. It may even be in places you didn’t expect.
Surveillance footage can be taken with the intent to prevent theft or stop crime. But in the event that someone is injured, the material may be useful evidence in a lawsuit. Unless the footage was taken from the victim’s own dashcam, or other personal video device, the victim may not have access to the footage.
Austin ISD Uses Video Surveillance to Protect Kids from Injury
Austin ISD announced in Oct. 2015 that school buses would catch drivers who pass illegally. In just one month, over 1,000 tickets were issued to drivers who failed to stop while a school bus was stopped, letting out children. This disturbing news from camera footage shows that kids on their way home can be in danger.
Some examples of video evidence include:
- Police dashcams
- Security cameras
- Cell Phone Videos
- Personal Dashcams
- Nanny cams
- Red Light Intersection cameras
There are 3 ways you may be able to secure footage on your own:
- Ask. The business owner or witness with security footage or mobile video may be able to provide you with the footage.
- File a subpoena. You may be able to use the footage in civil court.
- Submit forms or fees. If your video is owned by your municipalities police force, some paperwork and payment of a processing fee will give you access to the captured wrongdoing.
If those options sound confusing or time consuming, you’re probably right. If you have been seriously injured and believe there is video footage of the accident, contact a personal injury attorney. Their expertise in securing video will take all of the difficult legwork off your plate while you recover.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you recover the footage and craft an argument for your case.
Surveillance Video: How Defendants May Erase Personal Injury Claims
Insurance companies take personal injury cases very seriously. If they believe that a claim could be false, an insurance adjuster will attempt to secure video evidence that contradicts the claim of the personal injury victim.
Is the insurance company taking video of you after an accident?
Defendants in a personal injury case may lawfully seek video footage that weakens a claim on a personal injury. The footage may occur during or before an incident to prove prior injury, or a defendant may use video surveillance captured after the accident to weaken the injury claim.
Take this example: a woman has a severe car accident, and files an injury claim to recover costs from medical care. If the insurance adjusters successfully secure footage of her carrying heavy groceries, her case could be destroyed. Similarly, if she were to post footage of herself playing sand volleyball, her case could be erased by her own social media activity.
Insurance adjusters must abide by the law. They may not invade the victim’s privacy. Public settings are the only place in which footage may be lawfully secured by a defendant. But the insurance company may talk to co-workers or neighbors to gather evidence.
An insurance company will attempt to remove their liability from the claims. Through evidence, the insurance adjuster would want to demonstrate that the claims are being exaggerated by the victim and remove credibility of the claims.
If you have bene injured, talk to a personal injury lawyer. They will be able to help you determine if video surveillance may be captured of your actions. They will be able to talk to you about practices to avoid and consult with you about any attempts the insurance company may have to discredit your injury claims.
How Social Media Can Ruin Your Personal Injury Case
After a crash, you may have a few new “followers” so-to-speak. Insurance companies take lawsuits very seriously and will check in on social media to see if you have posted anything that would question your personal injury claims.
Beat them to the punch: Google yourself, and watch what you say and post online. Social Media can ruin personal injury claims. Don’t let Facebook ruin yours, read McMinn Law Firm’s social media guide.
Utah Man Vandalizes Ancient Rock Formation, Ruins His Personal Injury Case
A Utah man vandalized a 200-million-year-old rock formation in Goblin Valley while on a Boy Scout trip. Social media videos of the man destroying the ancient rock formation went viral. But not long after – information surfaced that the man had filed a personal injury case claiming severe back injuries. Just weeks before going out to Goblin Valley, the man had filed a suit as a plaintiff saying he had suffered serious, permanent and debilitating injuries in a car crash four years before.
Critics slammed his claims over the internet saying that if he could topple the two-ton rock formation, why was he filing a personal injury suit? One thing is for sure – video footage played a big role in his personal injury case.The former Boy Scout rock-toppler is an extreme example of how video, social media, and your online presence can play a role in your personal injury case.
Think about how you want to be portrayed online, and don’t post anything that isn’t consistent with your personal injury claims. If you’re worried about what could hurt your claim, just don’t post anything at all.Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn are experienced personal injury lawyers with a strong record of success. The lawyers at McMinn Law Firm advocate for the justice their clients deserve by providing caring, comprehensive and relentless legal counsel.We know that insurance companies are more interested in protecting their bottom line rather than an injured person’s well-being. We will investigate all aspects of your accident and use our knowledge of the law to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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