Can Your Lawyer Request Dash Cam Footage of Your Car Crash?
While the answer to this question is yes, your lawyer can request and obtain dashcam footage of your car from the other vehicle if you are involved in an accident. However, let us have a brief look at whether:
- the dashcam footage is absolutely necessary for your lawyer to validate your case
- your lawyer may be able to validate your case with other critical evidence
- you should install a dashcam in your car if you do not have one already
While we discuss all these points and more about the benefits of using dashcam footage in a car crash case; we highly recommend hiring a seasoned attorney who knows how to obtain appropriate information to validate your case and prove liability against the negligent driver.
What is a Dashcam?
A dashcam is a dashboard-mounted video camera that records the events happening either inside or outside the vehicle. In case of an accident, a dashcam may provide evidence that might work in your favor, or it might not. This is precisely the reason you must use a dashcam with caution.
Are Dashcams Legal?
While it is legal to install a dashcam inside your vehicle in all 50 states, it is important to understand how state privacy laws may vary with regard to using recorded dashcam footage because it is a form of surveillance.
There are dashcams that record audio of what happens inside the car, including conversations between co-passengers, which prevents some states from using dashcam footage in legal matters, under their wiretapping and privacy laws.
United State’s Consent Law for Using Dashcam Footage in a Lawsuit
Like most other states, in United States, only one party’s consent is needed for dashcam recording. Therefore, if the individual who is recording is aware of the fact of being recorded, which they obviously are, it satisfies the legal requirement even if the other people in the car are unaware of it.
The dashcam recording the conversation and comments of car occupants before, during, and after a crash could provide significant evidence for a judge or jury to determine fault and assign liability in a car accident case.
Acquiring Dashcam Footage
From Your Dashcam
If your car has a dashboard-mounted camera, you should inform your attorney and provide them with your dashcam footage. Sometimes, this could be the clinching evidence that can help you win your case and secure full and fair compensation from the negligent driver’s insurer.
You must not delete any portion of the dashcam footage under any circumstances, as selectively erasing or tampering with footage could be considered a crime. This footage may be the all-important evidence in a lawsuit and the at-fault party’s attorney may also try to obtain it by filing a subpoena.
From the Other Driver’s Dashcam
If the at-fault driver’s car has a dash camera that recorded the crash, it is highly unlikely that they would voluntarily hand over the footage. Your attorney may need to formally request for the vital recorded evidence, and the court may direct the other driver to hand it over.
Immediately after the crash, while noting down the evidence at the scene, you should check the windshield of the other vehicle or ask the other driver if they have a dashcam. Sometimes the wrong dashcam placement can work in favor of your compensation claim.
If the dashcam is not in the exact location on the dashboard as prescribed by law, and the other driver has previously received a traffic ticket for the camera’s illegal placement, this could be seen by the court as a contributory factor in the crash by impeding the driver’s view out of the windshield.
Benefits of Installing a Dashcam in Your Car
In addition to validating your case, there are other benefits of installing a dashcam in your car that you may wish to consider:
- Dashboard camera footage can also help you catch thieves and vandals as the police can identify them from the footage you may be able to provide.
- A dashcam in your teenager’s car can help you see how they are driving, giving you the ability to identify and flag any erroneous driving behavior that you can discuss with your child to help them rectify.
- If you leave the camera running when your car is at the auto mechanic, you can scrutinize the repairing process.
Although you may need other evidence to validate your car crash claim, available video footage from a dashcam could prove to be the crucial link that can help your attorney build a strong case, which could compel the insurance company to offer the compensation you need for your injuries and other damages.
Contact Our United States Auto Accident Attorneys to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation
The Atlanta-based car accident lawyers at Stein & Fox, LLP have extensive experience recovering full and fair compensation for motor vehicle accident victims. With our in-depth knowledge, proficient negotiation abilities, and courtroom skills; we build strong cases and establish liability backed by credible evidence.
Starting with a free initial consultation to discuss your case, you do not need to pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.