How Do I Get Surveillance Video of My Hit-and-Run Car Accident?

Hit-and-Run Accidents in ChicagoAnother hit-and-run on September 22 took the life of a woman in the Washington Park neighborhood. The driver of the car is still at large. Per ABC 7, “Some neighbors said the stretch of King Drive is notorious for speeding cars and they hope police are able to use neighborhood surveillance cameras to track down who did it.”

After a car accident or a hit-and-run, video of your accident can be invaluable in proving your case to the insurance company or a jury. Today, video can be found anywhere – from a store’s security cameras to video doorbells. However, getting your hands on this footage can be challenging. Getting an experienced attorney on your side makes it easier.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, our city has a network of over 35,000 security cameras. This is just an estimate and includes traffic cameras, security cameras, and private residence cameras. Per K&F Concepts, a video products retailer:

…while the exact number of surveillance cameras in Chicago is unknown, it is safe to say that there is a significant presence of surveillance technology throughout the city. The use of surveillance cameras plays a crucial role in enhancing public safety and deterring criminal activity, and it is likely that the number of cameras will continue to grow in the future.

Chicago also has a large number of hit-and-run accidents. A recent hit-and-run in Wicker Park left high schooler Nakari Campbell fighting for her life. Although the driver of the vehicle is still unknown (mostly because the owner of the car refuses to speak to authorities), Campbell’s family is now suing the owner of the vehicle for her injuries. Her family told NBC Chicago, “They knocked on the door. They said, ‘Sorry, we tried,’ and they thought that we were going to forget about Nakari and we’re not…. We’re going to continue to say her name. We’re going to continue to put feet on the ground. And we’re going to continue to showcase that civilians should not have to do the job of the police.”

And, back in March, two community leaders were killed in a hit-and-run accident that happened on the 11100 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue.

ABC 7 reported in January of this year “that throughout 2022 in Chicago, 2,468 pedestrians were struck by cars, an increase of 9% from the year before. At least 40% were hit-and-run crashes.”

Can I get video surveillance footage of my accident?

In a city with tens of thousands of cameras, it is likely one of them recorded your accident. There are a few ways to get video footage of your hit-and-run:

  • Check your own security cameras. If you have security cameras at your home or business, or a dashcam in your car, they may have captured footage of the accident.
  • Ask your neighbors for their footage. If you don’t have your own security cameras, ask your neighbors if they have any footage of the accident. Many homes and businesses now have security cameras, so it’s worth checking.
  • Check local businesses for footage. If the accident happened near a business, they may have security cameras that captured footage of the accident. You can ask the business owner or manager if they would be willing to share the footage with you.
  • File a police report. If you file a police report, the police will investigate the accident and may be able to obtain video footage from local businesses or traffic cameras.
  • Hire a private investigator. If you are unable to obtain video footage from any of the above sources, you may want to consider hiring a private investigator. A private investigator may be able to locate witnesses or obtain video footage from other sources.

If you are able to obtain video footage of your hit and run, it can be very helpful in identifying the driver and bringing them to justice. It can also be helpful in proving your case if you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.

However, this is not always so easy and not everyone is always cooperative. The family of Nakari Campbell is still waiting for justice for the hit-and-run that critically injured their child. Further, the South Carolina Department of Transportation does not record traffic camera footage and does not offer past footage.

How can a Chicago car accident attorney help me get video footage for my case?

Your attorney can play an important role in helping you obtain video footage of your Chicago car accident through legal channels and processes. Here’s how they can assist you:

  • Identifying potential sources of video footage. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have knowledge of common locations where surveillance cameras are installed. We can help identify potential sources of video footage, such as traffic cameras if possible, security cameras on nearby buildings, or cameras at businesses or residences near the accident scene.
  • Preservation of evidence. Once you hire an attorney from our firm, we can send a “letter of preservation” to relevant parties or property owners who may have video footage. This letter serves as a legal notice to preserve any potential evidence related to your case, preventing the destruction or loss of critical footage.
  • Issuing subpoenas. If necessary, we can issue subpoenas to the parties or entities in possession of the video footage. A subpoena is a legal document that compels the recipient to produce the requested documents or evidence. This can include surveillance footage relevant to your accident. It is important to act quickly on this, as video evidence can be quickly lost or destroyed.
  • Negotiating with businesses or entities. In some cases, businesses or property owners may be willing to provide the video footage voluntarily once they are aware of the accident and the potential legal implications. We can negotiate on your behalf to obtain access to this footage without the need for a subpoena.

Once the video footage is obtained, we can review and analyze it to determine if it contains evidence that supports your case. This can include establishing liability, proving the cause of the accident, and identifying other relevant details.

If the video footage supports your claims, we can incorporate it into your case strategy. This may include presenting it as evidence during settlement negotiations or in court to strengthen your position. We can also work with expert witnesses who can provide testimony regarding the video footage’s authenticity and its relevance to your case, further bolstering the evidence’s credibility.

How do I get paid after a Chicago hit-and-run accident?

There are two main ways to get paid after a Chicago hit-and-run accident:

  1. File a claim with your own insurance company. Most auto insurance policies in Illinois include uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage). UM coverage pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident. To file a claim with your insurance company, you will need to provide them with a copy of the police report and other documentation of your injuries and damages.
  2. File a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver. If you are able to identify the hit-and-run driver, you can file a lawsuit against them to recover your damages. You may be able to recover your damages from their insurance company.

If you are considering filing a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver, it is important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney from Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers. We can help you determine whether you have a case and can represent you in court.

Tips for victims of Chicago hit-and-run accidents

If you’ve been in a hit-and-run in Chicago, here are four tips to follow that can help you later:

  • File a police report as soon as possible. This will create an official record of the accident and help you to document your injuries and damages.
  • Cooperate with your insurance company. Provide your insurance company with all of the information they need to investigate your claim, but don’t offer them anything “extra” about what happened. Just stick to the truth.
  • Keep track of your expenses. Keep track of all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident. This will help you to document your damages and to get the compensation you deserve.
  • Contact Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers as quickly as possible. If you were injured in a hit-and-run, don’t delay: call us today. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work on your case.

If you were injured in a Chicago hit-and-run accident, talk to the car accident attorneys at Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers today. We can help you track down the driver and work to secure compensation for your injuries and losses. To schedule a free consultation, please call our offices or fill out our contact form.