Determining liability for a car accident may not always be a simple task. Some claims may require a more thorough investigation or more concrete evidence to prove who should be financially liable for damages.
Our car accident lawyers in Sacramento are prepared to gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case for compensation on your behalf. We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim and see what options may be available to you.
Below, we discuss the usefulness of dash cam footage in an accident claim.
True to their namesake, dashboard cameras are small video cameras that are mounted onto a vehicle’s dashboard or windshield. These devices typically record video, not audio, from anything positioned in front of them, so long as your vehicle is in gear.
There are some more advanced models that provide additional features such as interior audio recording or have a rear-facing feature that also captures what is happening inside your vehicles. Other dashcams can even stream to the internet or keep track of a driver’s speed, braking, steering pattern and whether seatbelts are in use.
Dash cams may be able to record nearly 2 GB of data, or up to six hours, on a loop that automatically refreshes. You may be able to access the video footage on the device’s internal storage, an SD card, external drive or an app connected to the device.
In short, yes, dash cams are legal in California. However, there are some limitations on the type of dash cams that may be used.
First, a dashboard camera may not be placed in an area where airbags will deploy when triggered.
Additionally, the camera cannot be more than seven square inches if placed on the lower right corner of a windshield, and it cannot be more than five square inches when placed in the center of the windshield.
California law also requires anyone using a dash cam capable of audio recording to inform any passengers in the vehicle that they are being recorded.
Any data stored in the camera is legally the property of the driver.
Any type of evidence that could help prove you were not at fault for the accident in which you suffered an injury is likely to benefit your case. This includes any video footage recovered from a dash cam that could help you prove another driver:
Presenting video footage of another driver’s actions to the liable insurance company is likely to result in an offer to settle the claim, which would be beneficial to you, as you would not need to go through the entire legal process of filing a lawsuit and having to convince a jury.
However, if the insurance company is still refusing to settle, this piece of evidence may be enough to help you convince a jury that the driver is responsible for the crash.
If the dash cam is in the vehicle of the driver who caused the accident, getting access to the footage may require a court order. This would require a lawsuit to be filed, which would lead to the discovery process where the liable party may be legally obligated to hand over the camera footage. If the at-fault driver tries to destroy the evidence or fails to disclose it during discovery, he or she could face serious legal penalties.
It is important to note that you may still be able to prove your case without the use of dash cam video taken from the other driver’s car, depending on the other facts or evidence in your case.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident and need help gathering the evidence to prove someone else’s negligence resulted in your injuries, you should strongly consider speaking to one of our licensed attorneys.
Our lawyers have the resources available to gather the necessary evidence to help you build a strong case for compensation. Our firm has a strong track record of helping injury victims recover the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation: (916) 777-7777.