A Special Note About Video Evidence in Slip and Fall Lawsuits
The slip and fall attorneys at Maus Law Firm recently obtained a settlement from a large South Florida resort hotel on behalf of a client after the hotel destroyed its surveillance video. We also recently obtained a large settlement for a client against a national grocery store chain after it was discovered that the store’s video — which had been preserved — was missing the two minutes of tape covering the period when the accident occurred!
Florida law says that if a company is put on notice to preserve its videotape, but doesn’t, you are entitled to a presumption at trial that the videotape was advantageous to your case, and that a dangerous condition is presumed to have existed. This is why, as seasoned Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyers, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of putting the in-store video surveillance request in writing.
Request that in-store video surveillance is preserved. Do this in writing as soon after your accident as possible. Most businesses video recorders will tape over whatever is recorded within a few days or a couple of weeks. Once the accident is taped over, the video cannot be reproduced.
Refer all Calls to Your Attorney: Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
Businesses and insurance companies are infamous for the defenses they use when a person gets injured on their property. Typical defenses are:
- It didn’t happen.
- If it did happen, the business didn’t do anything to cause the accident.
- If the business did do something to cause the accident, you should have seen the dangerous condition and avoided it, so it’s your fault.
To defend their cases, businesses and insurance companies will try certain tactics. Don’t fall for them. Most importantly, do not give a recorded statement.
Employees of large businesses are trained, by the insurance company, and by the business itself, on how to protect the business from a claim by a person injured on their property. One of their tools is to get a recorded statement from you shortly after your accident, when you may still be suffering from the initial impact, and a little disoriented.
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO GIVE A STATEMENT! That is why the insurance company or business will try and get in touch with you at the scene, or shortly after the accident. They are hoping to get to you before you consult with a Fort Lauderdale trip and fall lawyer. If you are contacted by the business or an insurance company, refer them to your attorneys. Once the insurance company knows they are dealing with a competent attorney, the phone calls to you will stop.
Discuss Your Premises Liability Claim with an Attorney at the Maus Law Firm
If you have been injured on someone else’s property in Fort Lauderdale, contact us now to discuss your case with premises liability attorney Joseph Maus. Call 855-999-5297 to schedule an appointment, or tell us how to reach you and Mr. Maus will be in touch shortly.