Video Cameras Are Everywhere - Even in Your Local Hospital!
As technology continues to develop, we have gotten used to seeing video cameras everywhere. We see them in stores and shopping malls, at entrances to office buildings, on roads, and in public spaces. Almost everyone has a video camera on their mobile phone, and just about anything can be recorded – whether you know it is happening or not!
Recently, one of our employees had to take his son to an emergency room. Fortunately, his son is doing fine. While waiting for a physician in the treatment room, he noticed a video camera on the wall. We have heard other stories about video cameras in healthcare facilities, sometimes hidden and sometimes out in the open. Video cameras in healthcare facilities can be used for several reasons – to keep track of how many people are visiting a facility, patient safety, to deter drug theft, etc. The use of video cameras in these facilities is a complicated, as it could also infringe on the privacy rights of patients who may be discussing sensitive situations with their doctors that they don’t want subject to audio or video recording.
Videos can be compelling evidence in your personal injury case. Whether it is a camera posted near the intersection of a violent car wreck, a video camera in your employer’s warehouse that records the forklift you drive tipping over and crushing your leg, or a surveillance camera in your elderly loved one’s hospital room that records her being left unattended for hours, these videos are crucial evidence of what happened. It is important that any such information be preserved prior to the defendants, or third parties, destroying it.
At Warshauer Law Group, we offer free personal injury consultations to prospective clients. During an initial meeting, we can help determine if there is any critical evidence that should be secured to aid in investigation of any potential lawsuits. We consider whether there may be video available from the defendants, or even adjoining property owners or local government. We then send letters to those entities, putting them on notice of a potential claim and informing them that they have a duty to preserve any recordings of the incident. If, during the lawsuit, it is discovered that video did exist and it was destroyed despite notice of the claim, the defendant could be sanctioned by the court.