If you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case and have filed a claim alleging you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may wind up being the star of a sub rosa video. Sub rosa videos are videos taken of the plaintiff by a defendant’s Insurance Company, without the plaintiff’s knowledge. The purpose of these videos is to try to catch the plaintiff engaged in some activity he/she claims in the lawsuit he/she can no longer do because of the injuries incurred in the accident.
Insurance Companies, or their representatives, in Long Beach and other Southern California cities take sub rosa videos in almost every personal injury case that goes to trial.
How to Prevent Sub Rosa Videos from Hurting a Personal Injury Case
Sub Rosa videos can be embarrassing and costly. To avoid this from happening, the first thing you need to do is be completely honest with your attorney about your injuries. Do not exaggerate what you can and can’t do as a result of the injury! If you are honest there is no risk that the defense will catch you doing something you claimed you couldn’t do. Credibility is everything in a lawsuit. If you go to trial and the Jury doesn’t think you are credible because you lied about what you could or could not do, your case is sunk. Years of litigation, and compensation for your damages, could go right out the window on a perfectly valid claim if the Jury questions your credibility.
Next, since you don’t know exactly when a sub rosa video will be taken, any time you are outside your house you should assume you are being videotaped. There are certain times when sub rosa videos are commonly taken. One is the day the plaintiff is examined by the defense’s doctor in an exam known as the Defense Medical Exam (DME). I have seen many sub rosa videos where a plaintiff walks normally from the car to the doctor’s office and then suddenly begins to limp as he/she walks through the doctor’s door and complains he/she can no longer walk without a limp. Ouch!
Another time sub rosa videos are often taken, is the day of the plaintiff’s deposition. The secret video will document the plaintiff’s movements from the car to the building where the deposition will be taken. Once inside, the plaintiff will be asked very specific questions, under oath, by the defense attorney about what he/she can and can’t do. The answers given by the plaintiff will be compared to the behavior the plaintiff exhibited in the video, looking for inconsistencies.
Sub rosa videos are also sometimes taken while the Trial is going on! Plaintiffs may be filmed starting from when they leave the house all the way to the Courtroom. Again, I have seen videos where a plaintiff who is running late is caught sprinting to the Courthouse after having testified he couldn’t run. In a recent case, one of my clients saw the defense trying to film him in the Courthouse during a break in the Trial. The defense will spare no expense in getting sub rosa videos, especially if they know the case against them may yield a substantial verdict.
The key to avoiding becoming a reluctant star in an embarrassing sub rosa video is to never, ever lie or embellish your claims. If you do end up in an incriminating video, you will need a skillful Trial Attorney. An expert personal injury attorney can sometimes make a sub rosa video backfire on the defense if he can make the Jury angry at the defense’s intrusion into the plaintiff’s life. I have had cases where Juries gave my clients more money in damages because they thought the sub rosa videos substantiated my clients’ claims and they were offended that the defense had taken the videos.
To prepare for all contingencies, a knowledgeable attorney will immediately request a copy of all videos and photographs in the defense’s possession so there will be no surprises at trial.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney
My law practice exclusively represents personal injury victims and does so with a deep understanding of their suffering and an absolute commitment to their recovery. I take your injuries personally, and that is why I directly handle all aspects of every case to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
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