What to Know About Surveillance Footage in Personal Injury Cases

Surveillance footage is becoming a fixture in our daily lives, with the prevalence of traffic cameras, store cameras, and dash cams on the rise. In fact, up to 18% of Americans now use dashboard cameras, and cities like St. Louis are considering the installation of traffic cameras in the coming years.

The everyday use of recording devices impacts personal injury cases, such as slip and falls, workers’ compensation claims, and auto accidents. These devices offer an unbiased record of events, providing clear and impartial insights that help determine the outcomes of legal disputes.

Knowing where to find surveillance footage and its potential role in your personal injury case can help you win a fair settlement if you’ve been hurt by another person’s actions.

Where to Obtain Video Evidence After an Accident

Video footage of a personal injury accident can be captured on multiple devices, depending on where the incident occurred. The following are common locations where you can look for possible footage:

  • Vehicle Dash Cams: Located inside cars, dash cams record footage of the road ahead (and sometimes the rear and inside of the vehicle). They can capture collisions, hit-and-runs, and other traffic-related accidents, providing evidence of the events leading up to and during an accident.
  • Schools: Cameras are usually installed strategically around school grounds, including playgrounds, hallways, cafeterias, and parking lots. These cameras help capture falls, fights, or other injuries on school property.
  • Shopping Centers: Surveillance cameras in shopping centers are typically found in parking areas, entrances, exits, and throughout the interior of the shopping area. They record slips, trips, falls, and vehicle-related incidents in parking lots, which are common sites for personal injury claims.
  • Businesses and Worksites: Cameras at these locations typically oversee areas of high activity and risk, such as construction zones, manufacturing floors, and retail spaces. They can document workplace accidents due to machinery, unsafe conditions, and customer injuries within a business setting.
  • Traffic Lights: Though Missouri largely uses closed circuit cameras that don’t record, traffic cameras in other locales may record accidents at intersections or on highways and state routes. These cameras provide a non-biased view of accidents, often from multiple angles, which helps determine fault in traffic disputes.

The Role of Video Evidence in Personal Injury Claims

In personal injury claims, video evidence of the accident can act as an objective witness, bolstering your case and helping you secure compensation. Surveillance footage obtained by your Missouri car accident lawyer from Cofman Townsley can impact your case in the following ways.

Role of Video FootageImpact on Your CaseExample
Establish FactsProvides clear, unbiased documentation of the incident, helping establish what happened during the event.Video from a store camera clearly shows a customer slipping on a wet floor, establishing the cause of the fall and the lack of warning signs.
Verify ClaimsHelps corroborate the statements and reports made by claimants and witnesses, lending credence or disproving elements of the case.Dash cam footage verifies a driver’s claim that another vehicle ran a red light, leading to a collision.
Influence Settlement NegotiationsCan impact the negotiation process by providing undeniable evidence that supports your position and gives you more leverage.Surveillance footage from a workplace accident shows safety protocols were not followed, leading to a larger settlement offer.
Impact Court DecisionsServes as a powerful tool in court, potentially swaying jury opinions and influencing the judge’s ruling by presenting visual facts.Traffic camera footage used in court shows the exact sequence of events in a traffic accident, helping secure a favorable verdict.

The Limitations of Surveillance Footage

While surveillance footage can be useful evidence for your personal injury claim, it has limitations. The following challenges make it necessary to hire an attorney to help you obtain relevant footage and use it during legal proceedings:

  • Legal and Ethical Standards: When obtaining surveillance footage, you must adhere to legal and ethical standards, such as privacy laws and obtaining permissions where necessary. This ensures the footage can be used in court without legal repercussions.
  • Understanding Limitations: Surveillance footage may have limitations such as poor quality, blind spots, or incomplete coverage of the incident. This can reduce its usefulness as definitive evidence in a personal injury claim.
  • Admissibility Considerations: Not all obtained footage is admissible in court. To be admissible, parties must obtain footage through the proper legal channels, be relevant to the case, and show a transparent chain of command to prove it hasn’t been tampered with or edited.
  • Need for Legal Consultation: Obtaining and using surveillance footage in a personal injury case requires the help of a qualified attorney. Our team at Cofman Townsley can take the proper measures to locate, secure, and analyze surveillance footage relevant to your case. We also take all precautions necessary to ensure it’s permissible for legal negotiations.

Get Experienced Legal Help From Cofman Townsley

Surveillance footage can impact the outcome of your personal injury case, helping to maximize your settlement. At Cofman Townsley, we know how to use video evidence to support your claim, reinforcing the other party’s fault and your damages.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your case and help you decide between your legal options.