Our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer John J. Perconti was quoted this week in a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article on the role that video cameras are playing in the courtrooms. The article touched on the effect that the increased use of surveillance cameras might have on the strategies of both plaintiff and defense attorneys. As local residents are aware, Chicago’s use of camera technology to monitor its corners and streets is growing rapidly. It is hard to go anywhere without being recorded by some sort of video device. In fact, while our city has certainly taken advantage of the surveillance tools as of late, we are actually a bit behind the curve. Other large cities (particularly international ones) have been using video cameras in more intrusive ways for years.
Not only is the city itself using these cameras, but many private businesses similarly monitor their surroundings as a safety tool. The captured footage is often crucial evidence when it records the incidents that at the heart of injury lawsuits. For example, our Illinois injury attorney John Perconti discussed a nursing home neglect case of ours involving a resident who fell outside of a senior center, suffering severe injuries that ultimately killed him. Attorney Perconti explained how the video camera mounted by outside an adult day care center caught the entire event.
The recording shows the senior using a walker, walking down a ramp toward a bus. Perconti explained, “He caught the side slope of the ramp and this causes him to fall sideways, striking his head on the pavement.” Perconti went on to report that “The camera was actually right outside the front entrance, primarily for security purposes. The surveillance camera was obviously instrumental in demonstrating how the accident happened.”
Video cameras are playing a role in other cases in which we are involved as well. Many blog readers might remember the horrific Aurora apartment complex fire from last May. Six people were killed in the blaze. A supermarket across the street from the apartment complex actually caught most of the fire on film. Attorney Perconti explained that the video “basically showed the actual time involved, the flames prior to the arrival of fire or police personnel and showed fire and police personnel arriving on the scene.” Obviously when trying to pinpoint times and better understand exactly what happened and when, this evidence is absolutely crucial.
The increased use of videos as evidentiary and explanatory tools in cases is, obviously, part of a larger trend in the role of this sort of technology on all areas of our lives. For example, last week we touched on the installation of video cameras in certain Chicago federal district courtrooms. It remains unclear what the exact effect of the cameras might have on court procedure, or if there will be any impact at all. It is yet another reminder of the ways in which every Illinois injury lawyers must be wary of growing too accustomed to the status quo. The world changes. The law changes. Injury lawyers must be able to adapt with those changes.
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