What It's Like to Get Hit by a Car While Bicycling

This scary video shows two bicyclists hit from behind and the side by a passing car as they are riding in a very wide shoulder area/ bike lane.  The collision occurs at about 2:40 on the video.  Video evidence is becoming increasing popular especially is bicycle cases.  Go Pro cameras are cheap and fun to use.  Phone apps like Strava, Endomondo, and GPS recordings can also provide relevant evidence in bicycle injury cases.  Depending on what is shown in the video, video evidence is often the best evidence of what happened in a given case because instead of hearing from human witnesses about what they claim to have seen, the jury is able to watch for themselves what actually happened.  Probably the most common type of video evidence in Wisconsin cases involves police dash cam videos used to record evidence of alleged crimes. 

Decisions on whether to admit video evidence at trial are left to the broad discretion of the trial court.  The court must examine the relevant facts, apply a proper legal standard, and, using a demonstrated rational process, reach a reasonable conclusion.  Issues that arise in videotape evidence often involve hearsay objections, and evidence that must be excluded because it is more predjudicial than probative.  Depending on what type of video evidence is shown, a trial judge may view the video before trial and decide which portions if any to redact from the jury view.

In a 2011 Wisconsin case, the court of appeals had to review video evidence presented at trial when there was a dispute over what the evidence showed at the trial court level.  The appellate court stated that the standard of review for disputed video evidence at trial is "clearly erroneous."  The appellate court looks at the video and decides whether what the factfinder [in that case a trial judge], determined from the video was "clearly erroneous."  Video is also common in Civil Trials in the form of videotaped depositions of a witness that occurs before trial. 

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