Video Evidence in Personal Injury Claims
The success or failure of a personal injury claim is dependent on a plaintiff’s ability to provide proof that certain elements have been fulfilled. For instance, negligence claims are based on proving that a defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty, and as a result of that breach, caused the plaintiff’s injuries. With the exception of strict liability claims, plaintiffs who are unable to meet this burden will be barred from recovering damages compensating them for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Often, the crucial evidence that allows plaintiffs to fulfill these elements takes the form of video footage, whether from a grocery store where a slip and fall accident occurred, or at an intersection where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. Unfortunately, obtaining copies of important video recordings can be difficult, especially for those who are not represented by an attorney, so if you were injured in an accident in Florida, it is important to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney who can help you begin building a strong case against the at-fault party who caused your injuries.
Establishing a Duty of Care
Personal injury claims are founded on demonstrating that the at-fault party did indeed have a duty of care to protect the defendant from harm, and in breaching that duty, was negligent. For instance, drivers owe others who are on the road a duty to operate their vehicles safely and to obey all traffic laws. Drivers who fail to fulfill this duty of care can be held liable for the damages resulting from their actions. When it comes to proving this duty of care in a car accident case, plaintiffs will need to provide evidence that the defendant was the careless individual who caused the crash. Eyewitness testimony and a copy of the official police report made after the accident can be crucial in these cases. However, video footage of the accident itself is perhaps the strongest form of evidence that an injured party can provide, as it can be used to not only place the defendant at the scene of the accident, but can also provide definitive proof that the defendant violated a traffic law or behaved unreasonably, and so caused the crash.
Breaching the Duty of Care
Businesses are required to keep their premises free of dangerous conditions and while most businesses will not contest this point, they will argue, if accused of causing an accident through a lack of care, that they did not actually breach that duty. In these situations, video footage can help prove to a judge or a jury what actually happened on the day in question. If, for instance, a person slipped and fell on a spill in a grocery store, he or she could provide the video footage as evidence that the spill had been there for a significant period of time, long enough for an employee who was exercising reasonable care, to find the spill and clean it up. This in turn, can help clearly establish fault and ensure that an injured party is compensated for his or her losses.