Let's Go to the Video!

by Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation

Barry P. Goldberg recognizes that more and more cases are being decided by video evidence from many different sources. The cost of surveillance video and equipment has dropped dramatically over the years and is not limited to large commercial establishments and gasoline service stations. In fact, almost most retail businesses and many private homes have surveillance cameras. The trick is identifying the cameras and taking prompt steps to obtain the videos. Even though videos are now digital, many locations still overwrite data on a pre-set regular basis. So, in addition to locating the cameras, it is absolutely critical to demand that the images be preserved.

In addition to the traditional sources of video, our office has now had several high profile cases that have been featured on local news stations. In fact, in one case, the local news reporter obtained surveillance video from a service station and re-broadcast that video on the news. With the help of our IT consultant, we were able to isolate that re-broadcast video into a separate file for use as evidence in the case. For that same case, we obtained aerial photographs and other photographs from the news stories that helped establish the position of vehicles and landmarks. If that were not enough, we obtained witness statements from people originally identified by the news crew!

An experienced trial attorney understands that it is not easy to convince a business to "give up" its video resources voluntarily. Usually, smaller businesses are more than glad to comply. However, larger institutions will only provide video after receiving a properly issued subpoena. Then, it goes to the legal department for a response. The problem with this approach is that it requires that a lawsuit be filed immediately in order to have a case number on the subpoena. A lawsuit is not necessarily the best approach in every case.

In either situation, our office recommends that a letter be sent to the business demanding that the business take immediate action to preserve the video into a useable format. Our office always offers to pay any related costs. Moreover, we offer to have our own IT consultant assist in retrieving the desired video if the business is in anyway unsure how to do so. Finally, the business is warned that the video is evidence and that destruction of evidence could constitute a tort and create liability and damages.

Recent experience in our office is that video will turn a disputed case into a clear liability case every time. We have tried a case featuring a video of an overloaded pallet falling on our client. In another case, our client took a cell phone video of a car dealership video monitor which happened to record her disputed red light accident. Her video clearly showed that the other driver was at fault. This last week, a bicyclist brought in video obtained from a business which showed that she was hit by a motorist while she was legally in a cross walk. That motorist actually sued her claiming that the bicycle ran into her causing property damages. The video will establish liability without question.

So, if you are involved in an accident it is important to look around either at the time of the accident or shortly thereafter to locate any surveillance cameras. Then, an immediate effort should be made to secure that video footage. An experienced personal injury attorney is your best bet in properly securing video evidence and all evidence establishing liability and damages.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation

Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.