Car crash evidence is vital for proving or disproving a personal injury case. The evidence is used to determine fault, which refers to who is negligent during a car accident. There may be several forms of evidence that are used in a car crash accident. These can include:
- Video footage of the accident (taken by various parties);
- Photographs of the crash scene;
- Physical evidence at the crash site (skid marks, broken car parts, paint, and other items); and
- Witness testimony.
What is a Car Crash Video?
“Car crash video” refers to video footage that is captured in connection with a car accident. In many cases, it can include video footage of the car crash while it is happening such as footage from a dashboard camera.
Or, it can be footage taken by bystanders (such as when witnesses record the crash using their cell phone cameras). A driver can also take video footage of the crash damage and injuries after the crash has already occurred.
If a driver is lucky, she may have the wherewithal to use her smart phone to take video immediately after the crash happens. This may not be possible when the driver is injured. Other sources of video may come from:
- Private Surveillance Cameras: a driver may be able to obtain footage of the crash from private surveillance cameras installed around the street where the accident happens. It can sometimes require asking the businesses that own the cameras for footage from the incident.
- Traffic Light Cameras: if the other driver ran a red light, it may be caught on a red light camera. The camera can also prove if the other driver was speeding. Most jurisdictions keep the video for about a month.
- In-Car Cameras: some vehicles have cameras built-in. Sometimes, drivers will have dashboard cameras in their vehicles. Both will document some, if not all, of the car accident.
How Do I Request Video Footage of the Crash?
When trying to obtain video footage of a car crash, you may have to:
- Ask: Some people and business will provide you with footage after you make a simple request.
- Submit Forms: You may have to complete a form to receive a copy of the video.
- Subpoena: You can sometimes petition the court to issue a subpoena demanding a copy of the video.
In certain cases where video footage cannot be obtained, the court may accept other forms of evidence during the trial.
For instance, in highly complex car crash cases, accident reconstruction techniques may be used to re-create the way the accident occurred. This type of approach may involve computer-generated videos and other similar technology.
Should I Contact an Attorney about Obtaining Car Crash Video?
Car accident claims can be complex and may require the use of videos in order to prove a case. If you have been affected by a car accident, it may be beneficial for you to meet with a personal injury attorney about working on your case. An attorney can provide you with guidance in obtaining a video and can represent you during trial as well.