The Ontario Court of Appeal has clamped down on the use by the defense and insurance companies of surveillance evidence against victims of personal injury accidents. The decision will impact surveillance and establish strict and clear limitations about what can be introduced to the court as evidence. This new law will greatly benefit Toronto personal injury lawyers and their clients, since surveillance evidence played a huge role in the way insurance companies and defense attorneys constructed their cases.
In the past, surveillance evidence was used to show that a victim of an accident exaggerated the injuries he or she sustained during the incident. The defense used this evidence to poke hole in the victim’s case, claiming inconsistency in a client’s testimony.
This new law will regulate and narrow what the surveilling party must produce and the circumstances in which surveillance evidence can be used. These constraints on the defense’s ability to use footage for whatever they want protects the Plaintiff from having general statements being made against them.
This is a step in the right direction where victims of car accidents can avoid trial by ambush.