Car Accident Attorney

Dashboard cameras are becoming increasingly popular for personal vehicles, as they can capture and save footage of the road while the car is in use.  They are particularly prevalent in rides hare vehicles, as many drivers use them for safety.  Typically, the camera will be wired into your vehicle, and will begin recording as soon as the car is started.  This provides a continuous recording of the road while the vehicle is in motion.  As an experienced auto accident attorney from Carey Leisure & Neal explains, dash cam footage can be valuable evidence after an auto accident and can provide an incentive for insurance companies to settle claims more quickly.  Read on for more information about how important dashboard camera footage can be after being involved in an accident.

Are Dash Cams Legal?

In most states, it is perfectly legal to drive with a dashboard camera so long as the camera does not obstruct the windshield of the vehicle.  Most dash cam models are designed to be small enough not to cause obstruction of the windshield.  Some states have statutory requirements that prohibit them from being mounted on the windshield but allow dash cam models that can be mounted on the dashboard itself, provided the camera does not obstruct the driver’s view. There are also newer models that can be mounted on the rearview mirror, avoiding any unnecessary obstruction.  Rear dash cams can be installed in a manner that does not obstruct your rear windshield as well. 

Any footage captured on a dashboard camera should be preserved as it was captured.  When downloading or storing footage, be sure that it remains in its original, unaltered form.  If it appears to have been tampered with in any way, the footage may not be used in connection to your accident and will likely become inadmissible in court.  Downloading applicable footage directly should avoid these issues.

Why are Dashboard Cameras so Important?

Dash cams are advanced Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) that record footage on the road from the front view and, depending upon the brand of camera, the rear view.  Dashboard cameras are important as they can provide first-hand evidence of what happened in an accident.  If liability is in dispute because the police did not witness the accident, the footage from the dashboard camera can provide valuable answers as to what really happened in the collision.  Due to the continuous recording function of the dashboard camera, it will capture footage of the scene, and can show whether the other driver ran a red light or stop sign.  It can also provide an idea of whether the other driver was speeding relative to other vehicles in the area.  It may even capture the other driver engaging in activities such as texting, drinking, or taking illicit drugs while driving.

Not only can dash cam footage help confirm liability, but it can also serve as evidence of the force of an impact, which can help to prove causation of injuries.  For all these reasons, dash cam footage can be a valuable tool to hold drivers accountable for their negligent actions.  The footage will also have a date and time stamp, which is valuable to confirming details of your case.

Types of Dashboard Cameras

There are two main types of dashboard cameras on the market, depending on the type of hardware you prefer and your comfort level with technology.  SD cameras depend on physical media, and store footage on an SD card which can be plugged into most desktop computers or laptops with an adaptor.  The footage must be downloaded off the SD card periodically to make room for new recordings.  As most cameras are wired into the electronics of the car’s dashboard, they begin recording as soon as the car is turned on and provide continuous footage throughout your drive.  Be sure to check the storage capacity on the SD card to monitor how often you should be downloading the footage.  Check to be sure that you have reinstalled the card correctly when you replace the SD card.  If this is the level of technology that you are comfortable with, these cameras can be a good option if you prefer to have a physical copy of the footage, however they do often require costly installation and maintenance.

Connected dash cams send the footage collected wirelessly to the cloud through cellular data.  Depending on the model of dash cam you choose, you may be able to download an app directly to your phone which allows you to access footage anytime.  Regardless, the camera will provide you access to a portal that you can log into to view and download footage from a selected time frame.  These camera options can be very advantageous as they provide you access to the footage within seconds.  This can provide valuable insight into an accident right away and can resolve questions of liability much more quickly than with SD footage, which requires a download to review.

Do Insurance Companies Accept Dash Cam Footage?

This question is becoming more common as dashboard cameras become more prevalent.  Insurance companies are beginning to accept dash cam footage in cases where liability is disputed, and the footage can help tell your side of the story.  If you have dash cam footage, you should consult your attorney to see if the footage will be helpful to your case.  Once your attorney has reviewed the footage, they will send the footage to the defendant’s adjuster.  It is always helpful to have a live illustration of events as they occurred in real time, and this can also help you refute any fraudulent claims that the at-fault driver may make to try to place some or all of the fault on you.

Is Dash Cam Footage Admissible in Court?

Dash cam footage provides first hand documentation of the accident and is admissible in court.  With the use of dashboard cameras becoming more common and the wide-angle camera footage they provide, as long as the footage has not been tampered with in any way and it can be authenticated, it will be deemed admissible.  It is important to note that if footage has been tampered with in any way, it will be excluded from evidence.  Most dashboard cameras provide a continuous recording after the engine of the car is turned on, so they can provide valuable information in relation to the driving conditions and the scene of the accident at trial.

Contact a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle Your Car Accident Claim

Being in a car accident can be traumatizing.  If you have recently been involved in a car accident and would like to file a claim for compensation, call the Law Offices of Carey Leisure & Neal today.  Our team of attorneys has been representing auto accident victims for nearly forty years and will be able to efficiently and effectively help build your case.  We have used dashcam footage to help establish liability in claims before and would be honored to help make you whole again after your accident.  Call Carey Leisure & Neal today for a free consultation.

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