What Surveillance Means to Your Slip and Fall Accident
You may have noticed. Surveillance videos populate much of modern-day society. In some cases, they could actually impact the handling of the claim for your slip and fall accident.
One New Jersey man undoubtedly bemoans the use of video cameras on the job. According to news sources, the independent contractor faked a fall down accident while at a worksite. He found himself accused of filing a fraudulent insurance claim, which New Jersey law considers criminal.
Hopefully, this gentleman’s actions speak little as far as the majority of injury claims arising from premises liability lawsuits. For the most part, surveillance videos prove valuable for other reasons. In your case, they may actually serve to document the dangerous conditions that caused your accident.
Consider how a video could collaborate your version of the incident that caused you to maneuver on crutches for the next month or so. That nasty trip you took in the mall had everything to do with the storeowner’s failure to properly maintain the floor space.
It’s not just that the surveillance camera catches your accident in active motion. Also, it records what happened before and after you even entered the area where you fell. For example, how long did the hazardous condition exist?
Preserving the Surveillance Video as Evidence
There are some basic steps every injury victim needs to take when someone else’s potential negligence caused them to fall. While your inclination might be to wait to see how you heal, you could hurt your case.
Truth be told, no concrete rules exist concerning the preservation of video footage. Often, retail establishments, hotels, and banks use closed-circuit television to monitor patrons. However, each business entity employs its own set of standards when it comes to how long they’ll hold on to tapes.
Most of the information you can locate regarding the length of time premises owners retain security videos appears anecdotal. Not surprisingly, companies also use closed-circuit television in conjunction with loss prevention.
You can imagine how fortunate it might be for a business enterprise to selectively retain footage of an event and use it to impeach a claimant or witness. Meanwhile, the events leading to the accidental fall may tell the real story.
For the most part, CCTVs only have a certain amount of storage and then overwrite older videos or images. That is unless someone purposefully intervenes. Once again, that’s why you need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney even before you’re sure of the extent of your injuries.
Obtaining the Footage
As part of the investigation of your case, your lawyer will send a letter to determine if security cameras were operational. Obviously, this inquiry pertains to slip and fall down accidents in public cases.
The correspondence serves a few purposes. For one, it puts the negligent party on notice that you have retained legal counsel. You won’t have to worry about phone calls or letters sent directly to you.
Additionally, your attorney will specifically ask for preservation of the video footage. And, the request will extend beyond the limited minutes capturing your actual fall. The failure to retain the footage could result in legal consequences if your claim gets denied or if you need to go to trial.
You Need Experienced Legal Representation
With three decades representing personal injury victims, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has the experience you need on your side. Did you slip or trip and suffer serious injuries? We want to help you. Please contact our office to set up an appointment.