Data Access Request for CCTV Footage in Personal Injury Claims *
In the variety of cases we deal with from road traffic accidents, accidents at work, assaults, defamation and public liability, as a matter of primary investigation seek where possible CCTV footage of an incident.
The sources of such footage range from, standard cameras in a public area, traffic cameras on streets, dash cameras in cars, body cameras on security guards and peoples camera phones.
We have had many unusual cases where the CCTV has been invaluable such as;
- a dash camera on our client’s vehicle where the client was assaulted
- phone camera from on top of a building where a client was injured by riot police charging
- a body camera of a security guard during an assault.
The footage can make or break a case and therefore it is important that as soon as an accident occurs that you should see if there could be footage available from the scene of the accident.
Data Access Request for CCTV Footage
According to Data Protection Acts, any person whose image has been recorded on a CCTV camera has the right to a copy of the footage from the data controller. In order to obtain a copy of the footage, a person must make an application in writing to the data controller. The cost of a data access request can be up to €6.35 and the data controller must respond within 40 days of the request being made.
In a personal injury claim, as your personal injury solicitor, we would handle this request on your behalf as part of the personal injury claims process, meaning that all you need to do is supply us with the right information before we do.
What information do you need for a data access request?
When making a data access request you will need to supply the data controller with the following information:
- Specific date and specific time at a named location. If unsure of specific time then a specific date between certain hours at a named location would suffice. It is worth noting that if the recording no longer exists at the time of the data access request, it will not be possible to obtain the recording, this is why it is advisable that you obtain the footage as soon as possible after the incident, even if you are not yet pursuing a personal injury claim, as you may need it in the future.
Once received the data controller has an obligation to provide the following, provided the footage is available:
- A copy of the footage in video format
- If the footage is technically incapable of being copied in video format, then pictures or ‘stills’ of the frames in the footage must be provided. In cases where stills are required, the data controller is required to provide a still of every second of the requested time frame in which your image appears.
- In footage that contains images of other people (people who are not the requester of the footage), the onus lies on the data controller to pixelate or darken out these other people before handing over the footage.
What is the data controller doesn’t respond to the data access request or destroys the CCTV footage?
The data controller has 40 days to respond to the request. If the request is not replied to in full a complaint can be made to the data protection commissioner.
It is worth noting that some CCTV systems will automatically delete footage after one month, but in cases where the data controller intentionally destroys the footage before or after you have made the data access request the data controller has unintentionally helped the personal injury case move along. For example, we have acted in two cases recently where despite the reporting of the accident by the employee and the member of the public the defendant destroyed the footage. The Judge in both cases drew a conclusion in favour of the injured party because of the defendant’s failure to retain the footage even in the case where a data access request had not been made until sometime later.
In a personal injury * case, a data access request can be a crucial part of your case, it is important to request CCTV footage as soon as possible after the accident had occurred. As your personal injury solicitors, Tracey Solicitors will handle the data access request for you so that you can focus on your recovery while we manage your case. For more information contact Piarais Neary on 0035316499900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him about your case.