Dash cam (short for dashboard camera) footage can be used as evidence in a Texas car accident case. While there are limitations to what these cameras can capture and whether or not the evidence is admissible, the potential value of this footage is that it can conclusively prove what caused the crash and who, if anyone, is liable.
The way a dash cam works is that it begins recording once the car starts moving, and it captures footage from the front and back of the car for the entire time the vehicle is in motion. The dash cam stores all footage that it records on a memory card, so the owner can access it later.
Can I Use Dash Cam Footage to Help Prove My Case?
When you are behind the wheel or a passenger, it can sometimes be hard to know exactly what caused the crash or to fully apprehend the chain of events that preceded it. You only know what you saw and heard before and during the crash, but even that can cause some confusion because of the trauma you experienced and how quickly everything unfolds. With that in mind, our Dallas car accident lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP have found that dash cam footage can be invaluable by potentially showing exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
Similarly, eyewitnesses to the crash may be biased, may have had a blocked view or a bad angle, or may have missed certain key events. Along those same lines, you could easily have several eyewitnesses to the same accident provide widely differing accounts of what happened. Dash cam footage can potentially leave no doubt as to the truth.
Given the fact that liability is often highly disputed in car accident claims, this footage can be a difference-maker for you and your Dallas car accident lawyer by proving what really transpired. This can expedite your car accident lawsuit because the other driver’s insurance company may realize that it cannot dispute its policy holder’s liability. With that in mind, the insurance company may extend a fair settlement offer to you relatively early in the process, ensuring that you receive the financial compensation you deserve for the damages you sustained.
Can Dash Cam Footage Hurt My Case?
It is also possible that dash cam footage could reveal facts about the crash that the other side will use to argue for a reduced damages amount. For example, if the police and insurance company have cited the other driver for causing your accident, but the dash cam footage shows that you were speeding in the moments prior to the crash, your financial compensation may be impacted due to you being partially at fault.
Not All Dash Cam Footage Is Admissible
There are also limitations as to when dash cam footage is admissible. These cameras are not allowed to record anything that occurs on private property, so if you were rear-ended in a grocery store parking lot, your dash cam footage may be inadmissible. That being said, you can still use this footage in another way, even if it never makes it to court. The dash cam can still show you exactly what caused the crash, so it may give you some clues as to where else you can turn to uncover evidence that will benefit your case. For example, your dash cam may show that moments before you were rear-ended, the other driver was driving at excessive speeds and nearly hit another vehicle. By seeing that other vehicle’s license plate on your dash cam footage, you can then contact that person and obtain eyewitness testimony that may help your lawsuit.
Dash Cam Footage Is Not Always Clear
Lastly, there may be some accidents in which the dash cam just does not capture any footage that shows what really happened. This is more likely to be an issue when certain areas of your vehicle are hit that the dash cam does not see. Note that in these cases, the dash cam would not hurt your case, but would likely not help it, either.
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By working with a personal injury lawyer, you can help maximize your financial recovery. Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, has been representing Texans for over 25 years, and we have secured more than $100 Million in jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of our valued clients. We understand how to examine whether or not dash cam footage can be used to benefit your car accident lawsuit, and if so, we have the experience to present this evidence so as to increase the value of your case.
If you have questions about the use of dash cam footage in a Texas car accident case, call Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP today to arrange a zero-cost consultation.