For the common layperson, whether a video is labeled as a security video or surveillance video seems to be splitting hairs. However, for Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, the difference between these videos is quite important. Pennsylvania courts have provided differentiations between these types of videos and subsequently outlined different rules for discoverability during a personal injury case. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm can help you understand how these definitions and rules may affect your case.
According to recent court opinion, surveillance videos show a plaintiff after an alleged injury has already occurred. These videos are created with the anticipation of litigation and are generally intended to refute a plaintiff’s statement about the extent or severity of their injuries. For example, a defense attorney may hire a private investigator to tape a plaintiff who is waterskiing while alleging that severe back injuries from a fall on the defendant’s property has her completely bedridden. This would be an example of a surveillance video. While these videos are discoverable, the defendant is not required to produce surveillance videos until after the plaintiff’s deposition.
Alternatively, a security video shows the actual incident that the plaintiff claims caused their injuries. A security video is typically created during the general course of business, and not in anticipation of litigation. The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania concluded that the value security videos add towards helping both parties ascertain the truth of the incident outweighs the benefit to the defendant in refuting the plaintiff’s testimony. Therefore, a security video must be produced during the normal course of discovery, and Philadelphia personal injury lawyers can request that a security video be produced prior to the plaintiff’s deposition.
Courts in other states have adopted similar rules with the production of surveillance and security videos. New Jersey courts have stressed that there is an essential difference between video surveillance prepared during the course of litigation for the purpose of disputing plaintiff’s testimony verses routine security videos that were made during the course of normal business that show the actual incident that occurred.
With more and more businesses investing in surveillance and security videos, their use in personal injury cases continues to grow. Ultimately, seasoned Philadelphia personal injury lawyers can help their clients understand the difference between security videos and surveillance videos and their discoverability in court. These videos can be crucial in helping plaintiffs prove their case in many types of personal injury cases, including premises liability cases and workers compensation claims.
Contact the Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm Today
At the Wieand Law Firm, our experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys will advocate for you and your family to achieve the best possible compensation for your injuries. We understand that you will have many questions when deciding to file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, we offer a free consultation to help answer your questions and understand your legal rights.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis for personal injury lawsuits. This means that you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket lawyer fees. In fact, we never earn a fee unless we win money for your claim. Statues of limitations restrict the time that you have available to file a claim, so call today to protect your right to seek compensation for damages for your injuries. Call 215-666-7777 or send a message via the online form on our website.