Dash Cams Can Strengthen Your Car Accident Case
Proving who caused a car accident to an insurance company or a court can be complicated. Eyewitnesses who saw the accident occur don’t always remain at the scene, and if they do, will need to speak with the police, who will be responsible for accurately recording their statements and contact information. Footage from a dashboard camera, or dash cam, on the other hand, is much more objective and can be very beneficial in a car accident claim. A well-positioned operational dash cam will record everything as it transpired, without any concern about bias or an eyewitness’s memory of the crash.
What are Dash Cams?
Dash cams are audio/video recording devices that drivers can install in their vehicles, usually on the dashboard. Once installed, these devices typically start recording automatically when someone starts the car, as they are often hardwired directly into the electrical system. Footage is usually recorded directly on an SD card and then can be reviewed at a later time. Most dash cameras show a view of the road from the front and sometimes the back of a vehicle, although some new models also provide recordings of the interior, and can even show the rearview mirror. These recordings show everything that happened on the day of the accident, without the need to rely on eyewitness testimony.
Using Dash Cam Footage as Evidence
In Florida, drivers can install dash cams in their own vehicles, although they are only permitted to place them in certain areas. Under the Florida Windshield Obstruction law, for instance, drivers are forbidden from placing nontransparent materials on their front windshields if they block a motorist’s view. Failing to follow these rules can have significant repercussions for an accident victim’s case, as a court could technically choose to throw out footage that was recorded on a dash cam if the equipment wasn’t installed legally.
Besides showing the events that led up to a crash, dash cam footage can also reveal:
- The speed at which the driver was traveling prior to being struck;
- Where and how the car was struck;
- That the driver was legally within the boundaries of his or her own lane; and
- How the parties reacted immediately after impact, including whether the other driver was impaired.
This footage, however, can only be used to prove liability if a judge determines that the video is accurate, hasn’t been altered, and can be used as evidence. It’s important to note, however, that most car accident cases don’t actually go to trial, but are settled out of court. Still, dash cam footage can be used to convince an insurer to offer a better settlement and avoid going to trial.
Call Today for Help Seeking Compensation After a Florida Car Crash
Florida car accident victims have been trusting our dedicated Tampa car accident attorneys to help them seek the compensation they deserve for nearly 40 years. To speak with a passionate lawyer who will fight for your legal rights, call Anderson & Anderson at 813-251-0072 or fill out one of our online forms today.