Evidence is the foundation of any personal injury case. In order to prove that another party violated their duty to you, there has to be evidence that supports your narrative of what actually happened at the time of the accident.
There are many ways to build a case of what happened using methods after the fact. Some accident victims are able to take photos and videos of the aftermath of their crash, our legal team can work with investigators to interview witnesses, and we can use drone technology and digital media to reconstruct the conditions at the time of the accident. But the absolute gold standard of proving what happened is actual footage. There is more footage being recorded today of everyday citizens than at any time in human history, but there are many challenges and obstacles to obtaining it to support your personal injury case in New York State. Here are the different kinds of footage:
1. Traffic and license plate cameras
In Kingston, NY alone, there are close to 30 cameras being installed around the city to take footage of intersections and public spaces. However, it isn’t necessarily guaranteed that the footage is going to be saved or accessible by request. One possible use for speed cameras is that they can be used to prove that a driver was exceeding the speed limit in the minutes before an accident.
2. Bus and public vehicle cameras
Last year, Dutchess County announced that it was installing over 1,000 stop-arm cameras in school buses. It is not clear how long the footage will be stored, and it’s possible that only footage of vehicles violating stopped buses will be saved long-term, but once again, it is possible to prove that a vehicle was driving recklessly leading up to an accident. Many public vehicles have some form of camera footage being recorded at various times.
3. CCTV and surveillance footage
Business and commercial property owners may use some form of Closed Circuit Television cameras to capture activity around their place of business. Every business has different standards for how long they keep footage. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it is very important to contact a personal injury lawyer quickly so that all of the possible avenues of footage can be explored before it is deleted. This is especially true for slip and fall and premises liability cases.
4. Ring/Nest and other doorbell cameras
A new option in the last few years is the widespread adoption of Ring, Nest and other smart doorbell security cameras. Many residents have purchased smart doorbell cameras as a deterrent against crime. If a resident is an active subscriber to their doorbell’s manufacturer, then 24/7 continuous footage is being saved to the cloud for up to 30 or even 60 days in some cases. Once again, time is of the essence if doorbell footage is needed to help prove your case.
5. Dash cam footage
Some higher-end vehicles are beginning to include dash cams and crashcorders as built-in features. None of them are recording constantly; they either will capture crashes that the car is directly involved in, or can save a few minutes of footage if the driver manually presses a button to start recording a problematic driver, for example. Some of these vehicles include:
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Cadillac CT6
- Tesla Model S
- BMW X7, 3, 7, 8, X5
If you’ve been injured in a crash or accident due to the negligence of another party, the clock is ticking. Give our team of personal injury attorneys in Kingston, NY and Poughkeepsie, NY a call at 845-600-0000 to schedule a free consultation.