Slip or trip and fall accidents are the most common kind of personal injury. Oftentimes these happen in public places such as stores, restaurants, bars, and more. These businesses also usually have surveillance. If you have experienced an injury due to a slip and fall accident, there are certain steps that you should take, especially if there is surveillance involved.
The first step that you should take if you have slipped or tripped (preferably while you are still on scene), is to verify that there is video surveillance of the property and of the event. You may see cameras posted up around the space, however, they may not be active, or may only be triggered to record certain events. On the contrary, you may not see cameras anywhere, however, there could be discreet ones up for hidden surveillance. When an injury occurs, contact the property owners to verify that there is a video of the event.
Contact an Attorney
Your next step is crucial to the success of your potential slip and fall case. It is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible so they can write up and send a preservation of evidence letter to the owner or manager of the property where the accident and injury occurred. This notifies them of your attorney representation and also orders them to not destroy any video surveillance evidence of the event.
Destruction of Evidence
Sometimes, however, property owners seek to better their chances in a case, and will proceed to destroy the evidence even after the preservation letter has been sent. If the destruction of evidence can be proven, the jury in your case may have the chance to judge whether the property owner did so on purpose. In this circumstance, it can typically be assumed that any evidence on such video surveillance would have presented unfavorably for the property owner, and therefore they must be guilty of some degree of negligence.
While the statute of limitations may be two years for filing a personal injury case, it is important to obtain any evidence and file a case as soon as possible. You should contact an attorney immediately and ask them to request the surveillance quickly as well. There is no requirement for businesses to hold on to surveillance for any specific length of time, so there is no guarantee that they will still have the evidence, therefore you must act promptly.
Another consideration is if you will need to file an incident report with the property itself. Often, if an injury occurs on the property, they have specific guidelines set in place that they will need to follow on their end as well. Sometimes these incident reports also specify an amount of time that surveillance will need to be kept. In addition, filing an incident report is another form of paper evidence that proves a slip or trip and fall occurred.
If you have slipped or tripped and fallen on someone else’s property, and have sustained an injury due to the accident, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury attorneys today. We have the expertise to represent you every step of the way.