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Insurers May Film Activity of Clients of a Personal Injury Lawyer
You live in Bergen County. Say in Ridgewood. One day, you are driving your car or motorcycle. You are stopped at a light. Out of nowhere, a careless driver plows into you from behind. Your vehicle is damaged.
Worst of all, you suffer physical injury. Your shoulder aches. An ambulance takes you to the emergency room. Thereafter, you follow-up with an orthopedic doctor.
You hire a personal injury lawyer. In the meantime, you continue with medical treatment and therapy with medical providers near your Ridgewood home. You lose much time from work.
Meanwhile, your personal injury lawyer files a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company offers to pay you a certain amount to settle the case.
But you do not feel that the settlement offer is adequate. Therefore, your personal injury lawyer files a lawsuit against the other driver.
After a year and a half, the case comes to trial. You take off from work and leave your home in Ridgewood to attend.
At trial, you explain what happened to the jury. You further tell the jury about your physical pain and suffering.
The jury retires to deliberate. After five hours, the jury returns its verdict. It awards you over $19,000,000. (That’s nineteen MILLION].
$19 Million Jury Verdict Voided Because of Surveillance Video
The attorney for the other driver appeals the verdict. Then you receive the devastating news. An appeals court has voided the jury verdict. Why?
Because the other attorney possessed a video that an investigator for the other driver’s insurance company shot. The video allegedly depicts you going about your activities in a manner inconsistent with the pain that you claim to suffer.
While the trial judge, for technical legal reasons, prevented the jury from seeing the video, your luck ran out with the appeals court. The appellate judges rule that the jury should have seen the video. And that the next jury will see it.
In short, that surveillance video cost you millions of dollars.
Victims Must Be On Guard
The above story represents more or less what happened in a real New Jersey court case. The lesson is clear. If you are a personal injury victim, and file a claim, you must assume that you are being watched.
The camera does not always tell the truth. A video, for example, may make it look like you are carrying a heavy object, just because the object appears large. But some large objects are hollow and light. But that’s not what the attorney opposing your personal injury lawyer will tell the jury.
Therefore, it’s crucial for personal injury victims to refrain from doing anything that that could be misconstrued as inconsistent with their claimed injuries.
All that said, don’t be intimated from filing a claim if someone else’s negligence injures you. Just be prudent in your activities. If you are, then it’s likely that you’ll receive the compensation that you deserve.