Safety and Health Reporter
Brien Roche Law > Blog > Personal Injury > Electronic Information in Personal Injury Cases

Electronic Information in Personal Injury Cases

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Addresses Electronic Information Personal Injury

Brien Roche

There are a host of different forms of electronic information that may be useable in personal injury cases. What is set forth below is a smattering of those different forms with some tips as to how they might be better utilized.

Photographs

Any photos that are taken digitally will have a geographical locator associated with them. This will tell you not only where the person was when the photograph was taken but also when it was taken. That geo locator may be important in terms of showing that a person was at a particular location when they were photographed doing some activity.

Fixed cameras can be of great value.  If an incident occurs at a particular location, you need to identify whether or not there are any fixed cameras in that locale that might have recorded what happened at the date and time of your incident.

There are cars on the road today that have what I called “surround sound” cameras. These cars literally take a 360º photograph of everything that is directly impacting the car. Also they record everything that is taking place in the area where the car is located. If those cars are in the area of your incident, they may have valuable photographic information.

911 Data

For any auto crash you should immediately contact the 911 service for that locale. Get not only the text information but also the actual oral recording of the 911 call. All of that could be critical. 

Urgent Delivery Systems

It used to be that the urgent delivery systems were outfits such as Dominos or FedEx. Now that Amazon offers same-day delivery, there are all kinds of delivery services that are out there driving through neighborhoods. All of those services have tracking devices. At any given moment the company can determine where their driver is and when that driver will be arriving at the destination. Also this data apparently also contains information as to what the speed is of these drivers. All of that could be valuable information.

Electronic Data Recorders

See the blog post on this site dealing with the black box. There are different types of data recorders on different vehicles. All of those different recorders need to be looked at.

Google Earth

Google, through a variety of means, has recorded a good bit of the earth’s surface. Authenticating these photographs is addressed in a blog post on this site entitled, “Authenticating Documents in Personal Injury Cases”.

Smart Houses

There not only are smart phones but there are smart houses. These houses may have 360º photographic surveillance. They may record entry and exits in terms of time and also photographically.

Fit Health Devices

These devices known as “Fit Bit” or by a variety of other names record certain readings about that person’s body. Also they record the location of the person at any given time.

Electronic Information Personal Injury-Voluminous Records

Voluminous records may come in a number of different forms. Probably the most common form that lawyers deal with is medical records. Those medical records may have an audit trail. It tells you when anyone accessed those records, who accessed them, when they accessed them and what change, if any, they made. 

Those records, when they are accessed by the provider are in what is called “native form”. Native form simply means the form that the provider sees when they’re making the entry. When those records are then copied and sent to someone in printed form, they are converted to PDF. They look totally different than what the provider saw. There may be instances where you need to have these documents not only in PDF but also in native form.

Within any set of records, whether medical records or otherwise, there may be drafts. Those drafts may be tentative entries into the record that may be completed at a later date. There is nothing wrong with that. You need to know however what the draft was in its original form and then how it was subsequently changed. 

Documents More than 30 Years Old

It may surprise you to hear that documents that are more than 30 years old are referred to as being ancient. Under Virginia Rule 2:803(16), statements generally acted upon as true by persons having an interest in the matter and contained in a document that has been in existence for 30 years or more are not hearsay. For instance if you have a business record of a party that is more than 30 years old, that document may not be subject to the proof as a business record. It is simply not hearsay under the rule.

Best Evidence Rule

Most of us know the best evidence rule as a rule that requires the production of the original in certain circumstances. That rule may be moot in the electronic age. With electronic information there is no original.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on electronic information personal injury see the Wikipedia pages. Also see the post on this site dealing with medical records issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Electronic Information in Personal Injury Cases

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Addresses Electronic Information Personal Injury

Brien Roche

There are a host of different forms of electronic information that may be useable in personal injury cases. What is set forth below is a smattering of those different forms with some tips as to how they might be better utilized.

Photographs

Any photos that are taken digitally will have a geographical locator associated with them. This will tell you not only where the person was when the photograph was taken but also when it was taken. That geo locator may be important in terms of showing that a person was at a particular location when they were photographed doing some activity.

Fixed cameras can be of great value.  If an incident occurs at a particular location, you need to identify whether or not there are any fixed cameras in that locale that might have recorded what happened at the date and time of your incident.

There are cars on the road today that have what I called “surround sound” cameras. These cars literally take a 360º photograph of everything that is directly impacting the car. Also they record everything that is taking place in the area where the car is located. If those cars are in the area of your incident, they may have valuable photographic information.

911 Data

For any auto crash you should immediately contact the 911 service for that locale. Get not only the text information but also the actual oral recording of the 911 call. All of that could be critical. 

Urgent Delivery Systems

It used to be that the urgent delivery systems were outfits such as Dominos or FedEx. Now that Amazon offers same-day delivery, there are all kinds of delivery services that are out there driving through neighborhoods. All of those services have tracking devices. At any given moment the company can determine where their driver is and when that driver will be arriving at the destination. Also this data apparently also contains information as to what the speed is of these drivers. All of that could be valuable information.

Electronic Data Recorders

See the blog post on this site dealing with the black box. There are different types of data recorders on different vehicles. All of those different recorders need to be looked at.

Google Earth

Google, through a variety of means, has recorded a good bit of the earth’s surface. Authenticating these photographs is addressed in a blog post on this site entitled, “Authenticating Documents in Personal Injury Cases”.

Smart Houses

There not only are smart phones but there are smart houses. These houses may have 360º photographic surveillance. They may record entry and exits in terms of time and also photographically.

Fit Health Devices

These devices known as “Fit Bit” or by a variety of other names record certain readings about that person’s body. Also they record the location of the person at any given time.

Electronic Information Personal Injury-Voluminous Records

Voluminous records may come in a number of different forms. Probably the most common form that lawyers deal with is medical records. Those medical records may have an audit trail. It tells you when anyone accessed those records, who accessed them, when they accessed them and what change, if any, they made. 

Those records, when they are accessed by the provider are in what is called “native form”. Native form simply means the form that the provider sees when they’re making the entry. When those records are then copied and sent to someone in printed form, they are converted to PDF. They look totally different than what the provider saw. There may be instances where you need to have these documents not only in PDF but also in native form.

Within any set of records, whether medical records or otherwise, there may be drafts. Those drafts may be tentative entries into the record that may be completed at a later date. There is nothing wrong with that. You need to know however what the draft was in its original form and then how it was subsequently changed. 

Documents More than 30 Years Old

It may surprise you to hear that documents that are more than 30 years old are referred to as being ancient. Under Virginia Rule 2:803(16), statements generally acted upon as true by persons having an interest in the matter and contained in a document that has been in existence for 30 years or more are not hearsay. For instance if you have a business record of a party that is more than 30 years old, that document may not be subject to the proof as a business record. It is simply not hearsay under the rule.

Best Evidence Rule

Most of us know the best evidence rule as a rule that requires the production of the original in certain circumstances. That rule may be moot in the electronic age. With electronic information there is no original.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on electronic information personal injury see the Wikipedia pages. Also see the post on this site dealing with medical records issues.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    [recaptcha]