The rise in surveillance videos has been dramatic in the last twenty years. As the costs of maintaining surveillance cameras decreased, more and more shop owners implemented these devices. Slip and fall clients often ask whether we can get the surveillance videos. In most cases, the answer is yes.
However, one thing that accident victims need to make sure that they do is ask for them. This seem simple, but if a written request is not presented to the shop owner, the videos may be destroyed. Some surveillance systems only keep videos for a few months or weeks.
A recent case from Florida's Second District Court of Appeals held that a shop owner is under no legal duty to preserve a surveillance video when there was no written request to preserve the evidence. This simple letter to the premises owner could help ensure that victims are properly compensated for their personal injuries.