Dashcam Evidence in Motor Vehicle Accidents
As soon as we leave our homes, we’re on camera just about everywhere we go. Cameras are on roadways, at gas stations, supermarkets, hardware stores, bus stops, train stations, and airports. You can even mount a camera to the dashboard or rearview mirror of your personal vehicle, and it can record what happened in an accident.
Are Dashcams Legal?
There is no federal law prohibiting the use of dashcams in vehicles in the United States. The general rule is that that they’re allowed in most states, so long as any voice recordings are made with the permission of the person who is speaking. The mounting of a dashcam can’t create a material obstruction of a driver’s vision. Most states allow them to be placed in the lower right corner of a car’s windshield, as long as they take up less than seven square inches of space. Those states also allow them on the left corner or center portion of a windshield so long as they don’t take up more than five square inches.
Dashcams in Disputed Liability Cases
In some accident cases, it might be difficult to prove liability. There might not be any independent witnesses or evidence, and the case is merely one person’s word against the other person’s. That makes it easier for an insurance company to push off some or all of the fault for the accident over onto an injured claimant. Dashcam’s evidence will provide a visual rendition of exactly what occurred before an accident, at the time of impact, and immediately after the impact. Dashcam evidence might be particularly useful in red light and stop sign cases. As insurance companies often deny coverage in hit-and-run claims, dashcam evidence can conclusively prove that an accident with another vehicle indeed occurred and that the vehicle that caused the crash left the scene.
Dashcam Evidence in Court
Clear and indisputable footage of what happened in an accident can cause an insurance company to reconsider its position on liability. If an insurer refuses to acknowledge what the video shows, laying a proper foundation for admission of the dashcam footage into evidence will be required. That’s a job for a dedicated and well-prepared car accident lawyer. Then, 12 people on a jury can view the footage and arrive at their own collective decision.
The Damages Issue
The fact that the evidence showing liability is strong won’t keep an opposing insurance company from disputing an injury claimant’s damages. That evidence is separate from the liability issues, and the damages alleged by a claimant must be properly put into evidence. If they’re not in evidence, a jury isn’t allowed to consider them. A skilled car accident lawyer will also be needed for purposes of the damages issue.
If another driver caused an accident that you were injured in, and you have dashcam footage of that accident, contact an experienced and reputable car accident lawyer right away and request a free consultation and case review. You can show him or her exactly what happened, and you can get answers to your questions too. Then, you can ask about all of your legal options. That dashcam footage can be worth a thousand words.