Under South Carolina law, a driver responsible for causing a motor vehicle collision should compensate the victims of the crash. The responsible driver’s insurance will generally pay for medical treatment costs, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and/or wrongful death compensation. Sometimes, however, the driver or insurer does not admit responsibility and the case progresses to court where a jury needs to decide on the cause of the collision and on appropriate compensation for victims.
A personal injury lawyer can help victims of accidents prove their cases in court. Traditionally, evidence in injury cases generally included witness testimony, police reports and sometimes testimony from an accident reconstruction expert. Now, however, personal injury claims are relying more and more on video evidence since there are surveillance cameras and red-light cameras in so many locations. Your attorney can help you determine if camera footage may be available of your accident and, if so, can help you take the steps necessary to obtain a copy of the video.
Video Exonerates Auto Accident Victim
The benefits of video surveillance recently became clear after an accident resulted in a motorist breaking her neck in four different places. According to The Washington Post, the accident involved a 25-year-old and a County Sheriff’s Deputy. The deputy wrote a report explaining what had happened to cause the collision. The victim was blamed in the report, and the deputy said he had stopped at a stop sign when the victim caused the collision. The deputy indicated that the victim was drunk at the time and that she did not have her headlights on.
The problem: None of this was true. The vehicle that the victim was driving had automatic headlights. The victim also was not drunk. While her injuries prevented her from having a breathalyzer test performed at the scene of the collision, a toxicology report showed she was sober. The allegations that she was drunk were based on a statement that she’d had a sip of a friend’s drink at dinner, as well as vague statements from law enforcement officers about smelling alcohol.
The reality was that the deputy ran the stop sign and apparently didn’t want to admit that he had done so and caused the wreck. So, instead, the victim was blamed and prosecutors even moved forward with drunk driving charges as she was recovering from a broken neck in the hospital.
Fortunately, a video from a nearby airport surveillance camera revealed the truth about what occurred. The sheriff’s department actually had the video shortly after the collision, although it did not act and the prosecution for drunk driving actually continued to move forward.
Since the county has not yet accepted responsibility or agreed to pay the victim’s medical bills, she will likely have to move forward with a civil lawsuit to get compensated. The video that surfaced that shows what occurred will prove invaluable when she makes her accident claim.