Dash cam

Dash Cam Footage in Court: What You Need to Know

Although laws regarding dash cam footage vary from state to state, in most cases video captured on a quality dash cam can make or break your case in the courtroom.


Understanding On-Board Cameras

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Dash cams are small cameras that automatically turn on when you start your vehicle. They record the road ahead and, depending on the model, can record footage from the back and sides, as well as inside a vehicle – a feature often used by Uber and Lyft drivers. Drivers can also set them to activate on motion detection when parked to capture video of the action around the car when you’re away. These relatively inexpensive cameras attach to the dash and store footage on a small internal chip, while some have features that automatically upload footage to the cloud.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

The most common reason for using a dash cam is to record the roadway as you drive, potentially capturing the details of an accident in digital footage if available.

The best dash cams provide another level of protection for your driving experience. While seat belts and airbags protect you physically in the event of an accident, showing your Dashcam footage in court can keep you safe financially or legally.

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According to legal experts, accident victims can use dash cam footage as evidence in most civil courtrooms as long as it is relevant to the case and has not been edited, altered or altered from any way. The images should also be crisp and clear. Grainy video footage can be thrown out in a court case. That’s why it’s important to only use one of today’s best dash cams and not an older model or poor quality dash cam.

Some insurance companies are also now considering dash cam footage as potential evidence for insurance adjusters when negotiating a claim. Dashcam footage may show that another driver was at fault in the accident even if the other driver is trying to claim that you caused the accident.

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While a good dash cam can help you prove you’re not at fault in an accident, it’s important to know that the other party in an accident can also use your dash cam footage. board against you if you were at fault. Today’s best dash cams not only record a view of the road ahead, they also watermark each recording with the date, time, and driving speed.

If your actions or inaction caused a car accident and another involved driver notices your dash cam, they can ask the police or the court to demand the footage of the accident. If you delete dash cam footage after an accident, the action can then be used against you because it makes it look like you are hiding evidence. In some cases, you may even receive a criminal charge for destroying evidence.

The courts can use a subpoena to acquire the footage in its entirety and any attempt to edit or edit your dash cam footage could cause further legal harm and increase your liability.

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It is wise to contact an attorney before voluntarily handing over dash cam video after an accident. A lawyer can view the footage and advise you on how it might help or hurt your case. For example, your dash cam footage may show the other vehicle running a stop sign, but it may also show that you are speeding. Even if you and your attorney decide not to submit the digital footage voluntarily, it is essential that you do not delete, alter or modify the recording in any way, as the other party could subpoena it as evidence and charge you with a crime if you destroy that evidence.

Remember that your dash cam is a silent witness to everything while you’re driving. The best dash cams can even record multiple viewpoints around your vehicle and store information in the cloud, so you can access it even if your accident destroys the camera. These images can be essential to prove what happened in the seconds or minutes before an accident, during the accident itself and what happened immediately after. In cases where you are physically injured and cannot take pictures or witness statements yourself, your dash cam footage can be your best ally.