Here in south Florida, if another person accidentally and negligently injures you in traffic or in any other setting, and if the incident is captured on video, can that video be used by your personal injury attorney in Miami help you acquire compensation for medical bills and other losses with a personal injury claim?
If you continue reading this short discussion of video and personal injury law, you will find out how injury attorneys use video evidence to win compensation for their clients – compensation that may not have been acquired without the persuasive evidence that video provides.
Several decades ago, you would rarely see a security camera outside of a bank, a department store, or a parking garage. Today, digital technology has cut costs, and digital cameras have impacted every part of our lives – even including the law.
IF YOU’RE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE, CAN VIDEO HELP YOU?
Digital cameras are everywhere these days. If you have been injured by negligence in the greater Miami area, there is a good chance that the incident will have been recorded by a smartphone, a dashcam, or a security camera operated by a third party.
If a negligent motorist injured you in a vehicle accident, a dashcam video may be available to help you prove that the other driver was at fault. If you are accused of being at fault in an accident, dashcam video may show that the other driver was, in fact, the negligent party in the accident.
If you are injured by negligence on someone’s private property – in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident at a restaurant, hotel, retail store, amusement park, in a parking lot, or even in someone’s home, there may be a video of the incident, and you may have a personal injury claim.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU’RE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE?
That kind of evidence can be critical, because here in Florida, the injured victims of negligence are entitled to compensation for their accident-related medical expenses, their lost wages, and all of their related losses and damages. But that compensation is not simply handed to you.
You’ll need an experienced Miami personal injury attorney who can prove that you were injured by negligence and entitled to compensation. It is imperative to speak with that lawyer at once after you’ve been injured and after you have been treated for your personal injury or injuries.
Video is cold and objective, so it can’t help you if you were the person who was negligent and if you were basically responsible for injuring yourself.
WHY IS AN ATTORNEY’S HELP SO IMPORTANT?
But even when video evidence shows that you are the injured victim of someone else’s negligence, you will need the help of a reliable and experienced south Florida injury lawyer who can explain what the video evidence means.
When you’ve been injured by negligence, you must be advised and represented by an attorney with substantial personal injury experience – a lawyer who knows how to acquire the compensation that you will need for your medical expenses, lost income, and other losses.
Your attorney will closely scrutinize any video evidence, along with documents including the police accident report and the record of the medical exam you submitted to after the accident. If there were eyewitnesses to the incident, your attorney may seek their statements or testimony.
If your personal injury case is complicated, your attorney may ask a medical expert or an accident reconstruction specialist to testify or to make a statement on your behalf. These types of experts are often asked to clarify the complications in a personal injury case.
WHAT IF YOU ARE INJURED AT YOUR JOB?
Work-related injuries caused by negligence are an exception in the state of Florida because these injuries usually do not qualify the injury victim to make a personal injury claim. Instead, injured workers in Florida are usually covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Even so, you should seek an accident attorney’s guidance and advice if you file for workers’ compensation payments. Your employer may have a video of the accident if your workers’ comp claim is contested, and your accident attorney can help you submit your workers’ comp claim.
A good injury attorney will make sure that no mistakes or misunderstandings hold up your benefit payments. If your claim for workers’ comp benefits is rejected, your lawyer will appeal the decision on your behalf.
In any circumstance where you are injured, because someone else was negligent, your personal injury attorney will seek to obtain any video that shows what happened.
COULD YOU BE FOLLOWED BY AN INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR?
Lawyers and insurance companies study these videos closely to determine liability, so if there is a dispute regarding liability, it can frequently be resolved if there is video of the incident.
When you file a claim for personal injury against an at-fault party’s insurance company, in some cases – and especially if the compensation you are seeking is substantial – that insurance company may have an investigator follow you and take video.
If you claim, for example, that you can’t lift anything after an accident, an insurance investigator may try to catch you carrying groceries, tools, or your child. They can’t break the law or intrude on your privacy, but they can record you in public settings like streets, parks, or shopping malls.
WHAT ABOUT VIDEOS ON THE INTERNET?
When your personal injury case is pending, be careful what you post online. Insurance companies and their lawyers carefully review the social media accounts of personal injury plaintiffs for signs – and for video evidence – that your claim is exaggerated or phony.
If you do not have a video of the accident that injured you, someone else may have it. After a vehicle accident, look carefully around the accident scene. There may be a nearby retailer or another party who recorded the accident.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY’S HELP?
Tell your lawyer if you think that a video of the accident may be available from a third-party source.
If you are injured in a trip-and-fall or a slip-and-fall accident on private property, or if you are injured by a negligent driver in south Florida, you must have sound legal advice and aggressive representation as quickly as possible.
Make the call and arrange to meet with an experienced Miami personal injury attorney as soon as you have been treated for a personal injury or injuries caused by negligence. That is your right, and it’s the right thing to do.