The Increasing Importance of CCTV footage
Ten years ago, it would have been rare for footage to be used as part of evidence in a court case. However, it’s now the opposite.
Video evidence can be extremely effective in legal proceedings and the availability of this footage has never been greater. That is why it is one of the first questions we ask our clients when we first meet regarding an accident – ‘might CCTV footage have been captured or be available of the accident*?’
Whether we realise it or not, video cameras and CCTVs are everywhere – in streets, on public transport, in pubs, clubs, restaurants, shopping centres, etc. These cameras frequently catch road traffic accidents, trips and falls and assaults. Dash cams, which are now increasingly more commonplace and used among taxi drivers, are also important sources of establishing liability and proving evidence.
Who Can Request CCTV Footage?
It’s important for people to know that it is possible for an individual to request and obtain CCTV footage from any camera that is recording areas that members of the public are passing through.
If you have been involved in an accident and you are considering proceeding with a claim but are unsure as to what to do yet. One of the first things you should do is make a Subject Access Request to the person or body that holds the CCTV footage. It is very simple to do and is free of charge.
You just need to write to the Data Controller and make your request pursuant to article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation. There are full details on the Data Protection Commissioners website at dataprotection.ie in order how to do this.
Making a CCTV Footage Request Early
It’s important to make this request immediately after an incident or accident has occurred as recordings can be frequently erased after a certain period – it’s not a given that footage is saved and stored indefinitely.
Even if you’re unsure as to whether you wish to proceed with the case, it is worthwhile being proactive and taking this first step to obtain the footage just in case you wish to initiate legal proceedings later on.
It’s also something you can do yourself that gives you and your solicitor a key piece of evidence to consider and work from to determine how to proceed.
For more information please contact HOMS Assist Partner, Piarais Neary Piarais.Neary@homs.ie
Piarais Neary is a Partner at HOMS Assist specialising in personal injury litigation and medical negligence. Piarais has supported and represented clients through personal injury, medical negligence and employee-related litigation cases in the High Court, Circuit Court, Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
HOMS Assist acts for private clients in all types of litigation, medical negligence, conveyancing, family law, wills and probate as part of Holmes O’Malley Sexton LLP.