Video Surveillance as Evidence in Premises Liability Case
Video surveillance as evidence in a premises liability case often involves injuries in a public setting (such as a shopping mall or an office building). Oftentimes businesses install cameras for security purposes. Luckily for slip and fall accident victims, they can also end up becoming evidence against them if they acted negligently to create or fail to correct the hazard that led to a slip and fall.
How Video Surveillance Could Show Negligence
When it’s one person’s word against another, it takes a lot more work to uncover the real story. But when something is caught on camera, the truth becomes much more difficult to argue. This is true when it comes to showing negligence in a slip and fall accident.
The camera might be positioned at just the right angle to capture the accident. For example, a shopping mall might argue that a patron tripped stepping off the escalator. But upon inspection of video surveillance in the mall, it might be apparent that the escalator jolted, which leads to the discovery that it malfunctioned, causing the trip and fall accident.
Another way it can help is by showing the length of time that a hazard existed. For instance, there’s an obvious spill on the floor of a store. Footage from surveillance cameras may indicate that the spill had been there for an hour with several employees walking past it. This could show negligence.
Also, footage could show that not only was there a hazardous condition, but there were no warning signs posted or barriers preventing people from entering. An example would be stairs that have been recently waxed with no caution tape surrounding them or a sign indicating they are slippery. If the owner placed a sign near the stairs after the accident occurred then video surveillance could prove the victim’s innocence.
Obtaining Video Surveillance after a Slip and Fall Accident
People who have been injured shouldn’t expect the company, manager or whoever is in charge to just hand over the video footage. In fact, there is the chance that efforts will be made to destroy or alter what was captured on the camera. So it’s important to act quickly in securing legal representation if the injuries sustained were serious.
An attorney will review the details of the case to determine if there is a legitimate claim to be made. And if so, will make sure any evidence in the property owner’s possession (such as video surveillance) is preserved, by sending a legal notice that it’s not to be tampered with or erased.
Keep in mind that what’s captured on camera isn’t the only proof necessary in a premises liability case. For example, plaintiffs must prove they had a legal right to be on the property: whether a commercial or private property.
Legal right to property access largely depends on the injured party’s classification: invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Discuss these issues and more with attorney Jason R. Schultz in Peachtree City. Set up your appointment today. Call 303-300-5060 or fill out the online contact form.