There is nothing that puts a damper on your day like getting into a car accident. Worrying about injuries, damage to your car, rising insurance rates, missed work, and potential litigation… it’s enough to give anyone indigestion.
Then there’s your account of what happened and the other party’s account of what happened. Both of you may firmly believe that you’re correct, but how do you prove it? It’s good to have witness testimony, but the surveillance video would be golden.
If there were any cameras around at the site of the accident, how do you go about obtaining footage to prove your case?
What Type of Video Footage can be Used in a Personal Injury Case?
Florida Courts have ruled that since there’s a public interest in exposing fraudulent personal injury claims, all involved parties should have an expectation that once a claim has been filed, there will be a reasonable investigation. This means that in addition to video surveillance from nearby businesses, a Defendant (the person sued) may hire a private investigator to determine whether a Plaintiff (the person suing) is exaggerating injury claims.
Such type of recording, however, does have its limitations. It’s one thing to record a person doing a spinning class at the gym; it’s harassment to snoop around their home or to ring their doorbell to get footage of them.
What about surveillance cameras?
How to Obtain Video Surveillance
If after carefully inspecting the area surrounding the scene of the accident you notice that there’s a business with a surveillance camera that likely recorded the crash, you (or preferably, your attorney) will have to send them a Preservation Letter.
Also known as a Preservation Demand or Preservation Notice, in which the person sending it states who they are and demands preservation of all electronically stored surveillance, images, recordings, or graphics of the site of the accident. The notice must also include the date, time, and exact location of the accident and instructs the receiver of the notice (as well as officers, agents, and employees) to preserve the requested material until litigation is resolved.
Absent a specific written request to preserve the surveillance footage, third parties are under no duty to do so. This type of situation is yet another reason why it’s so crucial to speak with a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash. We know what to think about to get all your ducks in a row. Not knowing a vital piece of information about how the law works could have detrimental effects on your case.
Call us at Clark Law for a Consultation
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. The longer you wait, you risk losing the opportunity to file for certain types of damages or obtain evidence for your case.