Video footage is one of the most compelling and reliable forms of evidence in a personal injury case. If the at-fault party denies their liability or the fact that an accident even happened, video proof can strongly back up your story. Luckily, there are cameras recording in practically all types of private and public spaces. This means that your accident may have been caught on video without you even realizing it. The one caveat to this is that even though something may be recorded, the footage can still be deleted. That’s why it’s critical to preserve video evidence quickly before it’s gone.
Video Evidence Wins Personal Injury Claims
Every type of personal injury case is strengthened by video evidence. That is because a successful case relies on showing that the other party acted negligently. When acts of negligence are caught on camera, they’re hard to deny.
Video footage of a car accident clearly shows what factors contributed to the collision. It can show whether a motorist was speeding, running a red light, texting, or drifting into another driver’s lane. As cameras become more and more commonplace, the likelihood that a car accident is caught on camera is increasing.
Many companies trust and depend on semi trucks to transport thousands of dollars worth of their merchandise at a time. Because of this, it is common for semi trucks and other commercial vehicles to have dashcams. If you are hit by a semi truck, their own dash cam footage may reveal whether the truck driver acted negligently. In order for this video footage to be of any help, it must be preserved before the company has a chance to delete it.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
Traffic cameras placed along busy roads and on top of stop lights can be helpful in proving a bicycle or pedestrian accident injury claim. Footage from these cameras can show if a car was violating any traffic laws or otherwise acting negligently when they hit you. For example, a driver may claim they came to a complete stop while footage shows that they didn’t. Or the footage may refute a defense claim that a cyclist or pedestrian darted into the road unexpectedly when they didn’t have the right of way. Video proves what really took place in a way that makes refuting the details more difficult.
Slip and Fall Claims
Most businesses have security cameras within the store, as well as around their buildings and parking lots. These video cameras can show how a pool of liquid got on the ground or how long a tripping hazard was present before a slip and fall accident happened. This can demonstrate that the property manager created or was aware of the danger but negligently failed to correct it. This type of footage can be critical in getting fair compensation for slip and falls that occur in grocery stores, big box stores, hair salons, and other retail spaces open to the public.
Nursing Home Abuse
Video cameras are one of the best deterrents of nursing home abuse. That is why Illinois allows nursing home residents to record video in their private rooms. Facilities also have their own surveillance cameras in common areas to capture the comings and goings of staff, visitors, and vendors. This footage can be instrumental in finding patterns to identify abusers, capturing questionable incidents, or proving your loved one’s condition before the injury or incident.
Dog Bite Injuries
It is not uncommon for pet owners and dog bite injury victims to have very different accounts about how an animal attack took place. The popularity of home security systems like Arlo and Ring is on the rise in residential areas. Security cameras have become more popular than traditional home security monitoring systems. Footage from these cameras can show whether a dog was leashed, whether a dog was provoked, and whether trespassing influenced an attack.
Office security cameras and construction site cameras can completely make or break a workplace accident claim against a third party. Cameras in workplaces, construction sites, and office buildings are often recording in high quality and from many different angles. This makes them crucial for showing the circumstances leading to a person becoming injured at work.
The CTA has been protecting Chicago city bus riders with surveillance cameras since 2003. This footage isn’t just helpful in protecting against assaults, robberies, and other crimes, it can also be a great source of capturing collisions and other incidents involving a bus. If you slipped and fell on a bus, were hit by a bus, or were injured by a bus in any way, chances are it was captured on camera.
Types of Video Footage
It’s estimated that there are 85 million surveillance cameras in the United States.
When you combine that with the prevalence of smartphone cameras, the likelihood that something was caught on camera is high. We see this on social media when someone shares a video revealing someone’s actions in public. We see it on TV with “caught on camera” shows. And we see it in the courtroom when someone thinks they got away with something when it was actually recorded from two angles.
Naturally, this makes video footage an excellent piece of evidence in a personal injury case. There are various types of video footage your attorney may seek out when building your case, including:
Dash Cam Footage
The high image quality of the latest dash cams makes it easier than ever to see the details of a car accident. Some of the cameras on the market not only capture footage from the front but from the back and sides as well. Dash cams are generally simple to install And footage can automatically upload to a cloud. Some vehicles even come with built-in dash cams. If your accident was captured on your dashcam or someone else’s, it can dramatically help in building your case.
Law Enforcement Video Recordings
Chicago has one of the largest police camera programs in the country. There are over 30,000 cameras recording around Chicago at all times. The number of cameras in the city means that your injury or accident were likely recorded. This footage can be obtained by a personal injury lawyer to help prove your claim.
Indoor Security Cameras
Indoor security cameras have come a long way in the last few decades. Many modern security cameras are able to detect motion, identify faces, and record with night vision. Luckily, lots of businesses employ these high-definition cameras to protect their merchandise and customers. So even if your accident was not seen by anyone else, it’s possible it was caught by a retail shop’s cameras.
Outdoor Security Cameras
Whether it is monitoring a business or residence, an outdoor security camera can help to catch at-fault parties when they least suspect someone is watching. Outdoor cameras are especially helpful in capturing slip and falls, motor vehicle accidents, and hit and run collisions.
Traffic cameras have become a very popular choice of surveillance technology for local governments. They're on top of traffic signals, placed along roads, and at busy intersections. These cameras are excellent for studying traffic patterns, monitoring backups, and capturing vehicle collisions.
Phone Camera Footage
Many good samaritans (or nosy onlookers) begin recording on their phones as soon as they see something interesting happening. This often means that the original accident may not have been caught on camera but the aftermath was. This can show the severity of injuries, how the at-fault party behaved, and other crucial details your attorney can use to prove your case.
Video Evidence Could Be Erased
Oftentimes, video evidence is lost because there is only so much storage space available. The footage may be stored for a limited amount of time through a cloud service. Or new video is recorded over old footage that doesn’t have any apparent value. Before the video evidence you need is gone for good, speak to a lawyer about your personal injury incident. An experienced Chicago attorney will know what steps to take to gain access to the camera footage that may win your claim.
Your attorney can:
- File a Freedom of Information Act Request
- Request footage from city officials in adherence with the City of Chicago Video Release Policy
- Contact business owners and witnesses and formally ask for their footage
- File a subpoena to have footage released
Contact a Chicago Attorney to Help Preserve Video Evidence
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, video evidence goes a long way in holding that party accountable. It is critical to obtain video as soon as possible before it can be deleted. An experienced Chicago attorney can help you to locate and preserve the footage you need to strengthen your claim.
The attorneys of Abels & Annes are ready to take on your personal injury claim. We will quickly take action and fight to get you the best possible results and maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 312-924-7575 for a free consultation or contact us online.
(Dash Cam Video by Extreme Crashes under CC license.)