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Dashboard Camera Evidence in Car Accident Cases

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What Happens During a Car Accident?

When you are driving on the road, you know to obey traffic laws and signs, check your blind spots, brake within a reasonable amount of time, keep a safe distance from other cars, and minimize distractions while driving. However, despite your best intentions and efforts, not every driver is as cautious as you. Car accidents frequently happen unexpectedly and suddenly. Whether it's a motorcycle racing down the street, someone backing up into your car, or a pileup, a dashboard camera can help support your claim. Sometimes it's as simple as a driver swerves and hits your car, someone speeds through a red light and t-bones you, or a drunk driver going the wrong way slams into you head-on.

In an ideal world, you call the police, and the police interview you and the at-fault driver. The officer writes a report and states the at-fault driver is indeed at fault. You hire a personal injury attorney, the at-fault driver concedes fault, and at trial, you are awarded everything you request in damages.

However, the at-fault driver will likely be represented by a car insurance company, and car insurance companies hate paying claims. Their goal is to minimize the amount of money you get for your injuries. This includes arguing that you were the at-fault party or that the accident was caused by other means, such as poor weather or a bad road conditions.

How Can I Use a Dashboard Camera to Prove Fault in an Accident?

Over the past few years, innovations in technology have led to accessibility to and the affordability of handheld video cameras. People now have video recording capabilities on their phones, laptops, and tablets. This technology then led to the GoPro camera, a heavy-duty yet small video camera that can be worn. In fact, many urban city bikers have begun installing GoPro cameras on their helmets to film their daily commute in order to hold dangerous drivers at fault for accidents.

 

Now technology companies are expanding the concept of wearable and other portable cameras to cameras that can be placed on a dashboard, often referred to as a “dash cam” or “dash camera.” Police officers have long had access to dash cameras that  they use to record high-speed pursuits, arrests, and encounters. These dash cams can be admitted into evidence. However, it was not until recently that companies began incorporating dash cams into civilian vehicles.

Dash cam videos may just be the golden ticket to proving fault in a contested car accident case. When a defendant alleges that the plaintiff is partially or wholly responsible, the plaintiff can admit the dash cam video into evidence. In addition, the dash cam footage can be a powerful negotiating tool.

Capabilities of the cameras vary, but it is recommended that you purchase one that holds enough footage for a roundtrip drive. Turn the camera on when you leave the house and off when you reach your destination.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident Claim?

Even if you have definitive proof of the at-fault driver causing the crash, you need the advice of a personal injury lawyer who knows how to effectively use this evidence in a settlement or at trial. A personal injury lawyer can assist you with determining if the footage is admissible and building a case using the footage

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 05-11-2018 12:17 PM PDT

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