Dashcams can significantly affect the outcome of your personal injury claim. In some accidents, it’s obvious what happened. The physical evidence shows who made a bad decision while driving and who was an innocent victim. In other accidents, the evidence is a little more nuanced and it comes down to both drivers’ stories.
What happens when the drivers’ versions of events can’t both be true? A dashcam can settle these disputes and make it easier for victims to get the compensation they deserve.
The team at Mann & Potter is here to help if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 205-879-9661.
When Dashcam Footage Helps You
In some circumstances, dashcam footage can strengthen your claim and help you get the compensation you are owed. Consider a standard car accident scenario. You’re driving and paying attention, obeying all road signs, and taking appropriate precautions. Another driver, perhaps distracted or simply careless, collides with you. When the police arrive on the scene, the other driver spins a tale that makes you look like the negligent party. You pull out your dashcam, show the police officer what actually happened, and watch the other driver get cited.
A dashcam can also help when there are genuine misunderstandings, not just when a negligent driver is trying to protect themselves from a personal injury claim. If you and another driver argue about what color the light was when you collided, what the posted speed limit was, or how close they were to you, your dashcam footage may clear up these misunderstandings as well.
When Footage Works Against You
The good thing about a dashcam is that it is a neutral observer. Sometimes, though, the bad thing about a dashcam is that it is a neutral observer. Just because the dashcam is in your car does not mean that its footage can’t be used against you.
Consider a distracted driving accident. You hit another car while talking to a friend. The dashcam audio clearly shows that you were having a phone conversation at the time of the accident.
Your dashcam may also catch footage of you driving in an unsafe or negligent manner. Perhaps it shows you swerving around other cars, tailgating, speeding, or running red lights. Any of this footage can lead to citations or even criminal charges. If you cause an accident and the other party decides to pursue a personal injury claim against you, your own footage could force your insurance company to pay them for your reckless behavior.
Securing and Using Dashcam Evidence
If the dashcam is in your car, it’s easy to provide the footage to your attorney and let them decide how to use it. In some cases, drivers choose to show the footage to the police at the scene of the accident if the other driver is trying to cover up their unsafe driving. However, before you do that, make sure that the dashcam actually shows what you think it does. Otherwise, you could be handing the other party a gift-wrapped piece of evidence to use against you.
When the other driver has a dashcam, it can be a little more difficult to get the footage you need. You can expect them to try to dispose of any damning evidence at the first possible opportunity, so you will want to work quickly. You can tell the police officer that the other driver has a dashcam (if you are aware of this) and that you would like that fact included in the accident report. This makes it much harder for the other driver to delete the footage and feign ignorance, claiming that they had no idea they had to keep it.
You should then tell your attorney that the other driver has a dashcam. They can request or subpoena the footage, and then decide how to use it in your claim.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Mann & Potter
Time is of the essence when you’ve been injured in a car accident. The quicker you can hire an attorney and get your claim started, the easier it is to gather the necessary evidence. Set up a time to talk with Mann & Potter online or call us at 205-879-9661.