If somebody is injured in an accident be it a slip and fall in a supermarket, an accident in a warehouse, or an accident on the forecourt of a garage there will often be CCTV footage that will capture the accident. A simple request can be made under the Data Protection Act 1994 within a short period of time after an accident to the Data controller to furnish the footage. If the data controller refuses to provide the footage a complaint can be made to the Data Protection Commissioner. Incident and accident report forms can also be requested.
CCTV footage that captures an accident to remove any doubt as to how the accident occurred and incident/accident report forms that are often completed soon after an accident but are not retained.
In many cases, the footage will tell the story of how the accident occurred and that will remove any doubt as to conflicting accounts as to how an accident actually happened. However, failure to promptly request the footage under the Data Protection Act can in many cases be fatal to someone’s claim.
Moloney Solicitors always seek the CCTV footage and incident/accident report forms immediately after an accident once they are instructed. In many cases, Court applications can also be brought at the same time to get Court Orders forcing Data Controllers to provide the CCTV footage and incident reports.
Other records can also be sought such as Staff rosters and cleaning rotas which can be strong evidence in cases to show a breach of duty of care.
If you have been in an accident you should immediately make a Data Protection Act request of the Data Controller and ensure that you can prove that you have sent a Data request. It is better to send it by registered post or indeed hand-deliver it to show that it has been delivered. The Data Controller must provide the footage and/or incident reports within 40 days.