Should I Use My Dash cam Footage in My Car Accident Claim?

Getting involved in a car accident is very stressful. Not only will you be having to think about how you will be able to afford your injuries, another concern may be how you should be able to prove the accident. Proving liability is one of the most difficult factors involved when filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. That is why hiring an experienced attorney will be able to strengthen your case against the at fault party. An experienced attorney will heavily investigate the accident and look into all the different types of evidence that will assist you. For example, gathering eyewitness information and photos of your injuries will be able to assist your attorney when determining how the accident occurred, and which parties are responsible.

Our car accident attorneys are available 24/7 via free consultations where we will determine what the next legal steps may be. Keep in mind that after an accident, there is a time limit called statute of limitations that will prevent you from filing a lawsuit a couple years after the accident. That is why we advise you to immediately get into contact with our attorneys after an accident. Our car accident attorneys will get to work immediately to start gathering as much evidence as possible.

With so many vehicles now on the streets in California, many have resorted to installing dash cams on to the dash of their vehicles. Other than dash cams, many vehicles are now equipped with a 24/7 external surveillance monitoring of your vehicle in the case of an accident or a hit and run. This is a very important piece of evidence that will be able to give your attorney an idea as to how the accident occurred. Accident reconstructionists and medical experts will be able to determine what type of compensation you deserve from dash cam footage. At first, dash cam footage was only used by police officers. But, with the increase in advanced technology, now several motorists are purchasing it as an external device, leading many to wonder if a dash cam can be used in a car accident case.

Is it legal to have a dash cam in my car in California?

In California, it is legal for drivers to have a dash cam in their vehicle. However, the dash cam’s placement is heavily regulated. For example, the dash cam cannot be in the way of an airbag should the airbags ever deploy in an accident.

There are separate rules and regulations that apply to commercial drivers such as Uber or Lyft drivers. For example, the Uber or Lyft driver could have a camera but must tell all the riders in the vehicle. For more information on Uber or Lyft accidents, please visit our page here.

What will a dash cam capture?

  • Where you were located when the accident occurred
  • What the negligent party did
  • What your rate of speed may be
  • What the rate of speed of the other vehicle was at the time of the accident
  • The other driver’s information
  • The other driver’s physical appearance after the accident (which could be used to prove that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs)

How will a dash cam help my case?

There are several benefits to a dash cam. When filing a lawsuit against the negligent party after a car accident, the drivers may all have different ideas as to how the accident occurred. Usually, each driver will try to pinpoint one another in order to prevent having their insurance premiums raised. When you have a dash cam installed in your vehicle, you will be able to have legitimate physical evidence that portrays how the accident occurred.

The dash cam can also be very beneficial when a witness is lying about how the accident occurred. It is very beneficial to have a witness talk about how the accident occurred. But sometimes witnesses may not even remember the accident correctly. A dash cam is stronger evidence than having your witness talk about the accident.

Having a dash cam will also be beneficial when dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies will always try to contact the car accident victim after the accident to get some sort of statement from them to reduce their liability. If an insurance company engages in bad faith practices, they will look for any excuse to downplay their pay out.  They may blame the victim of the accident and label it as insurance fraud. Having dash cam footage of the accident will be beneficial to show the insurance company exactly why it was not insurance fraud.

Is there a specific type of dash cam I need to purchase?

It is legal in California to have any type of dash cam installed on the dash of your vehicle. There are several different types of dash cams you may have. For example, some dash cams have a built-in Wi-Fi system. Some features that will be most beneficial to you are:

  • High storage memory
  • Resistance to the sun
  • Wide lens
  • Automatic recording
  • GPS

Could I provide dash cam footage to my insurance company?

You will be able to provide footage of the accident to your insurance company if your insurance company continues to deny your claim. Usually, insurance companies do not require you to have dash cam footage. But dash cam will be very helpful if you come to some type of disagreement with your insurance company. You will be able to provide your dash cam to your claim adjuster.

Is a dash cam video admissible in California Court?

The California Court system determines what type of evidence can be brought into court. It is up to the discretion of the judge, but usually, dash cam footage is admissible in court. Instead of having several people testify as to their version of the story, having dash cam footage will probably be the most reliable type of evidence to give the jury an idea as to how the accident occurred, and who the liable parties may be.

What type of accidents are dash cams good for?

  • If an accident involves running a red light, your dash cam will be able to show you what the light was on while you ran through the intersection. For example, if you got a traffic ticket, you will be able to bring in dash cam footage showing that the light was yellow when you actually entered the intersection.

  • Sideswipe accidents: sideswipe accidents could be easily proven by dash cam footage. Usually, the defendant in a sideswipe accident will try to blame the plaintiff. Having dash cam footage will better assist experts when trying to determine where you were located when the sideswipe accident occurred.

  • Hit and run accidents: this is probably one of the most beneficial ways dash cam footage could come in handy. With so many people now afraid of their car insurance rates increasing, hit and run accidents are at an all-time high in California. Having dash cam footage will be able to assist the police department in tracking down who the hit-and-run driver may be.

  • Left turns: if you are going to make a left turn, and were involved in an accident, dash cam footage will be able to help experts determine who the liable party is at a left turn accident. Left turn accidents are usually very difficult when determining liability.

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