Can Personal Injury Videos Be Used in a Lawsuit?

Injury & Accident Attorneys Serving Alpharetta, Atlanta & Nearby Areas of Georgia


Posted: June 5, 2017

personal injury videosPersonal injury videos are some of the most influential and important pieces of evidence available for use in a trial. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a billion words. Most of the time, you don’t see a video of a personal injury introduced as evidence at trial because it usually doesn’t exist. If it does exist, it can be the deciding factor in the case, so the case settles or gets dismissed before the lawsuit ever goes to trial.

Evidence Basics

For the most part, a judge will allow any piece of evidence for use at trial as long as it is relevant to the case and not unfairly prejudicial. Something is relevant if it relates to something the plaintiff must prove at trial. For example, in a car accident personal injury lawsuit, a video showing the at-fault driver running a red light and causing the accident would be relevant. This is because it shows who is legally liable for the accident.

Evidence is unfairly prejudicial if its ability to emotionally affect a jury overshadows its relevance. For example, if the plaintiff in a car accident personal injury lawsuit has a video of the defendant getting into a fist fight at a picnic, it is unlikely that a judge will allow this video as evidence at trial. This is because any relevance it has in determining who caused the car accident (or the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries from the car accident) would take a back seat to the possibility that the jury would view the defendant in a negative light. Perhaps the defendant really is a short-tempered person who gets into fights with others, but that has nothing to do with determining if the defendant caused the car accident.

The Importance of Video Evidence in a Personal Injury Case

The decision as to the use of a personal injury video in a lawsuit will depend on what the video shows and the reason for using it as evidence. However, if the video shows how and who caused the personal injury, it is probably acceptable as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. Buy why is this so?

In many personal injury lawsuits, it’s usually hard to prove how the personal injury took place or who is responsible for it. The plaintiff will try to prove the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s personal injuries. Evidence used to prove this usually includes eyewitness testimony and documentation. But human memory isn’t perfect, and a document can theoretically say anything.

However, video footage showing the defendant making an illegal left turn, punching the plaintiff, or the plaintiff slipping and falling on a puddle of water in a grocery store aisle that was not cleaned up for several hours is very relevant evidence and can serve as a “smoking gun.” Because of its relevance, it’s unlikely it will be unfairly prejudicial, and therefore the plaintiff can introduce it as evidence at trial.

Do You Have a Potential Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit and have personal injury videos to show who caused the accident, contact our legal team at Williams & Williams, LLC to discuss your legal options by calling 770-823-2711.