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How Can I Get Video Evidence of My Accident?

Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 11:47 am    

If you have had a bad accident and were injured, you may be considering the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the person who you think was to blame for the accident. It may not be an individual person. It may be a group of people, a store owner, a business, a government agency or even a combination of several parties who you believe were to blame for your accident and injuries.

One of the big stumbling blocks in successfully suing those at fault for your injuries is the lack of supporting evidence. Let’s face it, if you were seriously injured, the chances are that you were in no shape to run around taking pictures and interviewing witnesses after the accident, even though that would make it easier to claim compensation further down the track.

Maybe a video camera captured what happened when you had your accident

But what if you knew or suspected that there was a surveillance camera nearby and perhaps, just perhaps, that camera was taking video footage at the time you had your accident? It may have been a traffic camera at an intersection, a security camera at a parking lot, a gas station or outside a restaurant. It may have been a personal video cam that a driver had mounted on their car or a police officer’s dash cam. It may be a long shot, but isn’t it worth finding out whether you could get really useful evidence from one of these sources?

An attorney’s help makes sourcing video footage easier

The answer is yes! The reality may be a lot harder for a number of reasons which will be explained below. The best suggestion is never to try and seek video camera evidence all by yourself. You will almost certainly have a much better chance of securing valuable evidence if you contact a personal injury attorney such as one at the Patino Law Office in McAllen. Personal injury lawyers can sub-poena the agency or organization that controls the video camera if it is thought that past footage might have evidence which supports your claim.

Usually, the easiest video footage can be obtained from the owner of a private security camera, such as one in a supermarket, shopping mall, gas station etc. The owners may not have any obligation to release video records, but if the request is made respectfully enough, it is most likely to be granted. You may be allowed to look back through the video records by yourself or this privilege may be granted to your attorney.

Check the Texas database for traffic cameras

It’s not so easy to get permission if the camera was a traffic camera such as one that might be used at a McAllen intersection or red light. However, your attorney may be able to secure the footage with a sub-poena. Most states, including Texas, have a database which is available to the public which you can use to determine whether there was a traffic camera in the vicinity of your accident. This is potentially much more relevant to a traffic accident.

Similarly, a police officer’s dash cam may have useful evidence if you know the officer’s name, number and police station.

The least likely is a personal video camera which just happened to be rolling at the time of the accident. This is an outside chance but is more likely with a vehicle accident. You are unlikely to be able to secure a chance of obtaining evidence unless you know of any potential witnesses who were present at the time of your accident.

Make sure you act as soon as you can

Whatever the source of potentially useful video footage, the important thing to bear in mind is that you must act as soon as you possibly can. It will be much harder to find evidence n any kind of video camera the further it was recorded back in time. Old records may even be erased or recorded over. Again, an attorney can handle this line of inquiry even if your injuries prevent you from doing much yourself.