Our Firm Can Take Your Injury Claim to Another Level by Properly Using Video Surveillance in NJ Injury Cases
In the 21st century, video technology has blossomed to such an extent that nearly everyone has a camera at hand. These days, cameras are widely used for recording purposes, both informally and strategically. More and more, insurance companies are harnessing the technology to defend against plaintiffs’ personal injury claims and lawsuits, particularly those that purport serious injury and would require large payouts. If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, or an insurance company has used surveillance, legally or illegally, to try to refute your injury claim, contact our law offices at Cohen & Riechelson immediately to learn how we can protect and represent you moving forward. Read on to learn more about how video surveillance is used as part of a personal injury case and how you can best prepare for that likelihood.
Surveillance Footage Used in Personal Injury Cases in NJ
Surveillance video already exists in many personal injury cases. For example, slip and fall accidents that occur in a public place or car accidents occurring in public parking areas may be captured by stationary surveillance equipment. Additionally, dash cams from involved or nearby cars may capture an auto accident unfolding. This video evidence can be used by both the defendant’s insurance company as well as the plaintiff’s attorney to verify the circumstances surrounding the injury accident as well as its cause. Even when video surveillance confirms a defendant’s fault in an injury accident, through their insurance company, faced with a large payout, may trail the plaintiff using surveillance technology to attempt to prove that the extent of the injuries they have testified to are fraudulent.
The Fine Line Between Privacy and Personal Injury Claims
New Jersey personal injury claims do allow video surveillance material, with some obvious privacy exceptions. A plaintiff, for example, may be filmed in a public place. A defendant’s legal counsel may use this film to try to catch the plaintiff acting in a way that is not in alignment with their purported injury, damaging their credibility in the eyes of the jury and causing the jury to question the extent of their injuries and thus the extent of their payout. While publicly filming a person is legal in the eyes of New Jersey law, one may not be filmed in any area they would reasonably expect privacy, such as in their home or in a changing room.
Relevant Role of Surveillance Footage in New Jersey Personal Injury Cases
Surveillance footage can clarify the details of the injury accident itself as well as be used as a tool to verify the plaintiff’s injuries post-accident. Video evidence, as long as it is gathered legally, is irrefutable and, if it challenges a plaintiff’s testified injury severity, could cause a jury to doubt the truthfulness of their claim. As such, both accident and post-accident surveillance footage are critical evidence in a New Jersey personal injury case.
However, there are limitations associated with the use of surveillance footage in personal injury cases. In addition to privacy laws barring the defendant’s insurance company from surveilling the plaintiff in private areas, New Jersey law also dictates that the defendant must provide available surveillance evidence in the course of discovery. As we learned in Herrick v. Wilson, a defendant’s legal team may not withhold video evidence in its possession that is requested as part of the normal course of discovery, even if the plaintiff has not corroborated the video evidence with their own version of events through deposition. This means that a defendant who has video evidence of their fault in the accident must turn over that evidence, essentially hurting their case.
Strengthen Your Personal Injury Case with Video Footage and the Experience of Our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers
When it comes to personal injury law, it is always a good idea to have the qualified support of a personal injury accident attorney. A personal injury attorney is experienced in conducting a thorough investigation and gathering the necessary evidence and documentation to strengthen your claim and maximize your settlement amount. They are also well versed in the tactics that a defendant’s insurance company may use to try to undercut your claim or minimize the severity of your injuries, including through surveillance methods. A quality personal injury attorney will counsel you on what to look out for and how to protect your claim as you move on the road to recovery.
Our team at Cohen & Riechelson has won countless personal injury lawsuits for our clients in South Brunswick, Mount Laurel, Lawrence, Titusville, Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Monroe, Trenton, and towns in Mercer, Burlington, and Middlesex County by combining expert investigative techniques and medical documentation with compassionate and practical support for our clients. Contact us today at (609) 528-2596 for a free consultation to learn how we can help you on your way back to financial and physical health.