Video recordings from security cameras can help establish fault in a slip an fall injury case when an accident occurs at a business or public area. Injured parties and their slip and fall attorneys can use the footage as evidence to prove hazardous conditions and illustrate the severity of injuries when pursuing compensation from negligent property owners.
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Video Surveillance is Invaluable
As camera technology advances and becomes less expensive, more businesses and public entities are using video surveillance for security purposes. There are cameras in grocery stores, convenience stores, bank lobbies, parks, parking lots, and many other areas where slip and fall accidents occur. If a person suffers a slip and fall injury, there is a very good possibility that it was captured on video.
Video surveillance can establish the presence of snow and ice on sidewalks and stairs, wet floors and loose carpeting in hallways, or the absence of signs warning patrons of the presence of a slip and fall hazards such as waxed floors, chipped tile, or damaged flooring. A recording can also establish acts committed by cleaning and maintenance personnel that created a risk for pedestrian traffic.
Video footage provides a record of events that is difficult to dispute. When an accident occurs, video recordings are an impartial eyewitness that the judge and jury can review to establish fault in a personal injury case. When coupled with medical records and other eyewitness testimony, it forms a crucial foundation to support a plaintiff’s personal injury claim.
Obtaining Video Surveillance
One of the first things that should occur is for an individual’s slip and fall attorney to send the property owner or manager a preservation of evidence letter. This should be done as soon after the accident as possible. This letter helps prevent the destruction of evidence. However, even after a letter is received, this does not protect the recorded from malicious destruction.
If the defendant destroys the recording after receiving a preservation of evidence request, the court can instruct the jury to consider this as adverse interference. This allows the jury to consider the evidence as favorable to the plaintiff. It may also cause the court to pursue additional civil or criminal penalties against those who destroyed the recording.