Video footage is an incredibly powerful form of evidence in a workers’ compensation claim. You want to have it on your side.
Anyone who has ever been injured at work hopes their workers’ compensation claim goes smoothly. Unfortunately, things don’t always go so well. Your employer and their insurance company could try to fight you on your claim, in which case you will need to fight back. One of the tools that both parties may have at their disposal is video surveillance.
How Cases Can Go Wrong
The worst case scenario in your workers’ compensation case is that your employer denies your claim because they do not believe your injury is legitimate. When this happens, it has the potential to turn the workers’ compensation process into a nightmare. You may have to appeal the decision, go to court, and fight whatever evidence they have against you.
The Importance of Evidence
The primary factor in deciding how much compensation you will receive is evidence. That means medical bills, doctor assessments, witness testimonies, and more. Hard proof is the backbone of your case, and the same goes for your employer if they choose to fight you. Whoever has the more compelling evidence will likely win the case.
Using Surveillance For Your Case
Sometimes, surveillance footage can be used in your favor. A typical example of this is using company security footage that captured your accident. If your company tries to claim that you did not experience your injury at work, a video of you doing just that will be a great tool to fight against them.
Having it Used Against You
Surveillance can also be used against you. First, that same company footage can be used to prove that your recounting of the injury is not accurate. If this is the case, it will likely damage your case. Additionally, insurance companies will sometimes hire private investigators to take video of you in your daily life. If you claim to not be able to walk and are caught on video playing basketball, your case will obviously suffer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Evidence
Videos Can Be Persuasive
The most obvious benefit of using video footage as evidence is that it can be very persuasive. A video can show the events that led up to an injury as well as the aftermath, which can help build a strong case.
For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident, a video of the incident could show that the floor was wet and slippery at the time of the accident. This would be helpful evidence to show that the accident was not your fault and that you are entitled to compensation.
Videos Can Help Establish a Clear Timeline of Events
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember the exact sequence of events that led up to an injury. This is especially true if the injury was traumatic or happened a while ago.
Video footage can help establish a clear timeline of events by providing a visual record of what happened. This can be helpful in cases where an employer is trying to claim that an injury occurred outside of work or after the employee had already been terminated.
A Video Can Be a Powerful Tool for Corroborating Other Types of Evidence
Video footage can also be used to corroborate other types of evidence that you may have. For example, if you have medical records that show your injury is work-related, but your employer claims it’s not, video footage of the accident could help back up your claim.
In another example, if you have witnesses who are willing to testify on your behalf, but your employer or the insurer claims they are not credible, video footage of the accident could help corroborate their testimony.
While there can be many advantages to using video footage as evidence in your workers’ comp claim, there are also some drawbacks that must be considered.
First, depending on where it was filmed, ambient light conditions or whether interferences may have distorted or obscured the footage, making it less effective as evidence. Additionally, the insurer may use the footage to prove your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Finally, relying too heavily on video evidence can cause you to lose sight of other key pieces of evidence that may also support your claim.
How to Protect Yourself
To protect yourself, make sure that you are sincere & honest throughout your workers’ compensation claim process. If you are, any video footage obtained will reflect your testimony and not damage your case.
Video footage is an incredibly powerful form of evidence. You want to have it on your side, but you might find that in your workers’ compensation case, it is instead used against you. An experienced workers comp attorney can help you obtain video evidence to help prove your case. Doing so will significantly increase your odds of success and could be a decision that pays dividends for years to come.
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