When it comes to winning your personal injury case by pulling out all the stops, your smoking gun may be video evidence. It is important to note, however, that just because a video actually exists that may show proof of negligence, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will be able to successfully get your hands on it. In most cases, you'll need legal assistance in order to gain access to these video recordings. Here is a brief overview of video evidence in personal injury cases:
Where You May Find Video Recordings
There are many sources when it comes to video evidence, but the most common are:
- Cell Phone Videos – If your injury or altercation occurred in public, there is a good chance that there is a video or a picture on someone's smartphone that was there at the time.
- Police Dash Cams – If a police officer happened to be around at the time of your lawsuit-worthy incident, then the officer's dash cam may have captured some imperative evidence for your case.
- Commercial or Residential Security Cameras – Homeowners and business owners often have security cameras on their premises. Sometimes, they are hidden, and you don't even know that they're there. For example, in residential homes, there may be a nanny cam. While this footage may not have sound, it could have captured relevant parts of the incident that occurred.
How to Legally Get Those Recordings
In some cases, the holder of the footage will hand over the video recordings to you without much of a hassle. However, there are instances when asking won't do. In these instances, you may have to:
- File a Subpoena – If a video owner refuses to provide you with the video footage upon your verbal or written request, you may need to get a subpoena that requires them legally to hand it over. The civil court will essentially be forcing the video owner's hand. If they refuse to still give you access, they may face legal consequences.
- Submit Paperwork and Fees – In some cases, you may have to submit paperwork and possibly even a fee in order to obtain video recordings. This is particularly true with footage from a police officer's dash cam.
It may take some effort on your part to get the footage, but it can typically be worth well worth it in the end. Your personal injury attorney can help investigate the aforementioned sources as well as other sources of video recordings that could be available to you for your case. Your lawyer will know how to properly and legally request the footage from the appropriate sources so that it can hopefully be used as a silver bullet in your legal claim.
For more information, contact Denali Law Group or a similar firm.