Florida Supreme Court to Hear Evidence in dashcam Crash Case
An interesting case for personal injury attorneys will go before the Florida Supreme Court soon. The case will determine if dashcam evidence alone is enough to dismiss a lawsuit against Wilsonart, a Texas-based trucking company that is the target of a lawsuit. The dashcam evidence, they claim, proves that their driver was not at fault for the accident.
Now, several other interested parties want to have their voices heard during the lawsuit. These interested parties are said to have amicus curiae status and, although they have no stake in the outcome of the lawsuit, the decision could impact their interests in a broader sense.
The broader issue at stake is whether or not video evidence of any kind can be used to grant summary judgment. While a trial court awarded a dismissal to the trucking company, an appeals court ruled that current standards place a broad-based limitation on video evidence for the purpose of arguing in favor of summary judgment. This, of course, says nothing about the quality of the video evidence. So, the Supreme Court must decide whether the video evidence can be used to dismiss the lawsuit against Wilsonart.
Let’s say Joe is in a car crash with a trucker. Joe says that the trucker failed to see him in the lane and then made an unsafe lane change causing the collision. dashcam evidence completely refutes Joe’s story and shows that Joe himself was attempting to switch lanes unsafely and moved into the truck’s lane. The trucking company provides this evidence at trial and the judge, upon looking at it, rules that Joe is lying or confused about what happened. The judge dismisses the case based on the dashcam evidence and that’s the end of Joe’s lawsuit.
It is, in essence, the perfect lawsuit for trucking companies who want to protect their drivers and their interests by placing dashcams on their vehicles. Even though Joe is unlikely to win his lawsuit given that the dashcam evidence refutes his accounting of events, the trucking company must still jump through the hoops at their own cost to litigate a doomed trial. For obvious reasons and understandably, the trucking company would prefer not to do that.
However, the law, as it is written, prevents video evidence from being the basis of a dismissal. At this point, the Supreme Court has two options. They can say, “This is how the law is and this is how it works. If you want to change the law, you have to go through the legislative process, but it’s not our purview to overturn a law.”
The other option is for the Supreme Court to consider the technological evolution of society as regards the use of video evidence for summary judgment. Since video evidence is more rampant and simply better than it was when the law was written, the Supreme Court can say that the law no longer meets the needs of a modern society.
It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.
Talk to a Miami Injury Attorney Today
If someone else’s negligence caused you injury, call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation.