How a Dashcam Can Change Your Accident Case
Every year, thousands of victims get injured in Los Angeles car accidents. If you get injured in a car crash, state law requires you to prove that someone else caused the accident to recover compensation from that party’s car insurance provider. Dashcam footage can provide key evidence during your car accident case.
What Is a Dashcam?
A dashcam, short for dashboard camera, is a camera that is installed on the dashboard or windshield of a motor vehicle. Also known as a car video recorder, driving recorder or event data recorder, this camera continuously records footage of the road in front of the car (and sometimes the interior of the car or out of the rear window). The video footage is then stored, either locally in the camera or sent to a third-party provider, and can be used during a car accident claim.
How Might Dashcam Footage Be Used During an Accident Case?
California is a fault-based insurance state. This means injured car accident victims must prove the fault of another driver, person or party to collect financial compensation from that party’s automobile insurance company. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, drivers can recover compensation from their own insurance providers without needing to prove fault.
California allows drivers to use dashcam footage as evidence in car accident injury claims. This footage could show what happened before, during and after a car accident. It may have caught the cause of the crash on record, such as a driver running a red light or driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Dashcam footage can also be instrumental in a hit-and-run car accident case, as the camera may have caught the fleeing vehicle’s make, model, color or license plate numbers.
Dashcam footage is valuable evidence during an insurance claim – especially if the insurer attempts to fault you for the crash. It can provide indisputable proof to a car insurance company that the crash occurred the way you say that it did and that you are not to blame. It can also prove to an insurance company that the car accident happened at all, which can help keep premiums low for everyone by preventing insurance fraud.
How to Obtain Dashcam Footage of Your Car Accident
After a car accident, remain at the scene until the police arrive and you give them your version of events. While you are waiting for the police, communicate with the other driver and exchange information, including names and insurance information. The responding police officer can check for dashcam footage that may have been recorded by the drivers involved as well as anyone else who was at the scene.
Check inside the other driver’s vehicle to see if he or she has a dashboard camera. You can also ask the other driver directly for any footage recorded of the accident; however, you may not be able to trust the driver’s answer, as he or she may try to avoid liability by lying to you about available dashcam footage. This is why it is important to involve the police in a car accident investigation from the beginning.
Once the police arrive, they can help you obtain and preserve dashcam footage. The police have the right to confiscate a driver’s dashcam to use the footage as evidence in a car accident investigation, if necessary. If the police do not come to the scene, contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you obtain this type of evidence from another driver. Your lawyer can subpoena a car’s dashboard camera as evidence to make the other driver surrender the footage or memory card for use during your case.