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Use of Video Footage and Social Media in Personal Injury Claims

December 28, 2018

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Nearly everyone is equipped with a camera everywhere they go. In just the last two years, 90 percent of all data that humans have ever created in history was generated, according to Forbes. Much of this takes the form of videos and images, the latter amount being increased by 1.2 trillion still images every year. With over a trillion still images being taken across the globe each year, and billions of videos, there is an increasing chance that motor vehicle collisions and other personal injury incidents are caught on camera. In some cases, the negligent party will go so far as to document or comment on their misdeed online or via social media.

Negligent Driver of Fatal Hit and Run Gives Interview to the Local News, Then Gets Arrested

Hit and run fatalities are at a record high, with a 60 percent increase in the last nine years and a total of 2,049 casualties in 2017, according to the AAA Foundation. A five-year-old boy was killed by a hit and run driver in West Philadelphia, and a three-year-old was left in critical condition to die after being hit by a driver who fled in North Philadelphia. A driver in Massachusetts went so far as to give an interview to a local news station after:

  • Seeing an 80-year-old pedestrian crossing the street;
  • Having time to repeatedly honk at him;
  • Deciding not to brake or swerve;
  • Running over and killing him; and
  • Fleeing the scene, as reported by the Boston Globe.

“I’m driving too quick . . . to the point where it’s like, I couldn’t really stop. People hit and run people all the time,” the driver said. “Right now, I’m not worried about nothing, man . . . I’m not a stone-cold killer. Accidents happen, man.” In most hit and runs where the victim was a pedestrian or cyclist, the driver is never found. Fortunately in this case, the driver essentially turned himself in by giving the interview. In many other cases, police, lawyers, and investigators can use social media, dashboard cameras, and surveillance footage to get an idea about what happened in a collision or who the suspects are in a hit and run. While in this scenario the driver bragged about his actions on the local news, most of the time incidents such as these that involve an at-fault party boasting of their misdeeds are found online on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media outlets.

Footage of Driver Shows Him Touch Body of Victim Before Fleeing

Another hit and run left a pedestrian dead in Austin, TX near a bus stop where numerous people gathered after the vehicle struck the victim, as reported by KXAN News. One witness’ cell phone footage captured the driver walk up to the dead victim, touch the body, then walk away before fleeing the scene in his vehicle.

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you are the victim of a hit and run, or you were injured in any other type of collision or incident, you need an attorney. Contact the Philadelphia law offices of van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin online today or call us at (215) 486-0123 for legal help in getting the compensation that you deserve.


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