March 30, 2015 • Personal Injury FAQs
Videotaping is Legally Allowed
It is legal for the defense to videotape you. The defense has the right to hire an investigator to try and videotape you doing something that you are claiming that you cannot do. In an accident or a medical malpractice case, when you claim that your injuries are significant, and you are unable to do the type of activities that you used to be able to do before the accident, then the defense will want to go ahead and put you on videotape conducting those activities.
The defense will want to see if you are jogging down the street, mowing the lawn, playing basketball, shoveling snow, going skiing, lifting bricks for a new fence, carrying a large flat screen TV into your home, and so on. The defense wants to do this because they want to catch you in a contradiction, determine if you are lying or not, so they can undermine your credibility and destroy your case.
So what the defense is going to do during the course of your litigation, or during the deposition, is all the things that you can no longer do, and all the things you were able to do before you were injured. After the deposition, which is a question and answer session held under oath, they are likely to hire an investigator, if your injuries are significant enough and you are claiming a substantial amount as compensation.
This investigator will be hired to follow you around for a few days. You may not even realize that you are being followed, because the investigator will most probably follow you around in an unmarked van and try to catch you engaging in those activities that you claim you no longer can do. If you really cannot walk well or lift a gallon of milk without serious strain, then you have nothing to worry about.
You have Major Problems if You are Found to be making False Claims
Whatever the defense finds and if they are going to use that information against you, and present it as evidence, then the defense will have to send over that videotape to your attorney. This will give you the opportunity to see what it is that they have captured on videotape. If they have captured information that can make you look like a fool, then you have serious problems. And your attorney will probably start to wonder why you wasted their time.
There are Exceptions Though
However, there are many instances where the injured victim will try to do those activities that he used to do that he was truly not able to do during the time he was being questioned by the defense during the deposition. For instance, you claim that you can no longer play baseball or go swimming, but over the course of time, your strength returns and your body heals. This is only natural. This is something the court will consider if the defense tries to contradict you.