February 20, 2019
With high-resolution cameras and video becoming so inexpensive, it seems like there is little a person can do that is not picked up on video. Every time I leave my house, or a car goes down my street, my Ring Video Doorbell records a high-resolution video of the movement. Almost any gas station, restaurant, grocery store or retail store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc) has numerous cameras covering the parking lot and the inside of the store. While, at times, I decry the loss of personal privacy, as a personal injury lawyer, I have been helped and hurt by the new age of high-resolution video surveillance.
In the old days, if a store had video, it was black and white, grainy and jumped frame to frame. Even if there was video, it was hard to see what happened. Today, if someone falls in a Kroger, Wal-Mart or Target, there is almost certainly a high definition video of the incident. I have had cases where the store video showed, in detail, my client’s injury and the substance that caused the injury. On the other hand, there have been instances where someone has claimed to have slipped or tripped on a foreign body only to learn later from the video that no such object or substance existed.
Recently, I have come across commercial drivers and over the road truck drivers using dash cameras (Dash Cams) while operating motor vehicles for business purposes. I have also seen ads for these relatively inexpensive dash cams that can be purchased by members of the general public.
Businesses use these dash cams to monitor employee performance and to prevent fraudulent claims from third-persons involved in wrecks. These commercial dash cams can create two results. In the first instance, the commercial driver is involved in a wreck and claims that “It was the other drivers fault.” The “other driver” claims it was the commercial driver’s fault. If you are the employer, the dash cam video can sink you or save you. However, based on the increase I see in the use of dash cams, employers have decided that it is better to just know the truth good, bad or indifferent. Ultimately, that helps clients injured in motor vehicle accidents.
As a personal injury lawyer, there is some important advice for persons injured in car wrecks or trips, slips or falls. It is now more and more likely that some camera somewhere picked up the incident. If the wreck involves a commercial vehicle, there is a better chance that a dash cam video picked up the incident. If there is a fall in a store, there is almost certainly video evidence of the incident. It is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately so that the attorney can send out a letter requesting that any video recordings be preserved whether it relates to a fall in a store or a wreck on the roadway. Many business’ save video on a loop and the incident will be written over if written notice is not provided