In the United Kingdom, the duty of proving a claim rests on the person who brings it. Therefore, for claimant personal injury solicitors, independent evidence is crucial in establishing both who is at fault and the value of the claim itself.
In the road traffic accident department, we often find ourselves dealing with cases where it is one party’s word against another. For example, the pedestrian will say that they were half way across the road before they were struck by the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle will say that the pedestrian stepped out in front of him. Without independent evidence, the pedestrian will struggle to prove that the driver was at fault.
Fortunately for claimant solicitors, the proliferation of CCTV across the country has meant that more and more of our roads are being monitored. CCTV is not susceptible to bias and can’t be persuaded by loyalty to either party. In other words: “the camera doesn’t lie.”
Therefore, when we first get a case, we spend time writing to local businesses and the police to see if the accident has been caught on camera. If we get the footage we will be able to tell who is at fault for the accident.
If the camera footage is not conclusive, for example the speeds of the vehicles isn’t clear or the camera’s view is obscured, we can also instruct accident reconstruction specialists to recreate the accident. This evidence, whilst expensive, can be very useful in establishing with whom the fault rests.
As well as CCTV, dash cameras and helmet cameras for cyclists are becoming more and more popular. We are finding that more and more of our clients are using them and sending the footage in for us to review.
Therefore if you do find yourself involved in an accident, as well as reporting the accident to the police, it is well worth asking the business in the accident vicinity if they have CCTV and telling your solicitor this as soon as possible. This information can be the difference between winning and losing a claim.