Most retail shopping stores have surveillance cameras.
Video cameras “watch” areas where money changes hands. Both high-end and discount stores also have cameras posted at many locations where people enter and exit the building. These retail establishments have cameras to make sure there’s no “shrinkage”. Retailers are afraid of shrinkage — the theft of merchandise by their employees — as well as lost profits due to shoplifting and vandalism.
When Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau has a slip and fall or trip and fall case at a store, one of the first steps his injury team takes is to secure the surveillance video. If the accident occurred near the cash registers, exit, or entrance, then it may have been captured on video tape.
However, surveillance video tapes are not kept forever. Very often they are recorded over and/or destroyed in only a few weeks. Often times, after a very serious injury, the victim is in too much pain, confused, and/or unconscious. Because of this, there are no names, addresses, or phone numbers for witnesses. The only people who are listed as witnesses in many incident reports are employees and management of the store that caused the unsafe condition. Do you really think they are going to be helpful to the injured shopper’s case ?!!?
But videotape can show the unsafe condition, failure of maintenance, or security lapse. The tape can even help identify others who encountered the unsafe substance, tripping hazard, or other danger on the store owner’s property.
Because the videotape may be recorded over and/or destroyed shortly after the event, it is critical for an injured shopper to secure an experienced premises liability attorney. If important evidence is not preserved, then the accident case may not make it to the jury. The best Leesburg, Loudoun and Fairfax County trip and fall lawyers know to send a spoliation letter so as to preserve any digital or video evidence.
If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of a trip and fall, falling merchandise, slip and fall, defective shelving, caustic chemical spill, slippery substance, or other premises liability claim, and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.