What You Should Know About Dash Cam Footage & Car Accidents

It is common for police vehicles to have dash cameras installed in them. However, more regular drivers are considering installing these types of cameras than ever before. There are a few reasons why, including protecting yourself legally in the case of a car accident. If you are thinking about placing a dash cam in your car for this type of protection, you may have some questions. Here are a few questions you may have about dash cams and car accidents.

Is it Legal to Install a Dash Cam in Your Car?

As long as the dash camera is not mounted somewhere where it impairs your vision of the road and vehicles around you, it is legal to install in your car. However, while it is legal to install one, it is not always legal to use one. Generally speaking, you can use a dash cam in public areas, like public roadways. Generally speaking, places where people do not have an expectation of privacy can generally be filmed with a dash cam. The use of a dash cam may be restricted in private areas. Generally most areas will have a sign posted warning that recording or photography are not permitted. This may occur on private land or on military bases. If there is a notice that recording is not legal, you will have to turn your dash cam off.

Can a Dash Cam Be Used to Show Fault?

If you were involved in a car accident, you may immediately want to use the dash cam footage to show fault. However, not all dash cam footage can be used to show fault. There are many factors that an insurance company and/or court will consider when determining whether the dash cam footage can be used in determining fault.

First, they will look at whether it was legal for you to be recording. If it wasn't, the footage can't be used. Secondly, they will look at the quality of the footage. Depending on the angle of the camera and the angle you were hit at, the footage may not show what happened. Or the video may be so grainy or poor, that it is hard to determine what happened. In these cases, the video may not be used. Lastly, the courts or insurance company may decide not to use the footage if it appears as though the footage was altered or edited. Don't try to edit the footage just to show what you want. Keep everything intact and let the insurance company or courts view the tape in its entirety for the best outcome.

Can Your Footage Be Used Against You?

If you were involved in a car accident, and there is a dash camera in your car, this footage can be used against you. The officer may request to view any footage from the video or can seek a warrant to confiscate it if they feel there were criminal elements that may come into play, such as street racing or driving while under the influence. The party that was injured may also be able to subpoena the footage from you and use it to show who was at fault if they feel you may have caused the accident. As such, while a dash camera may be able to help you if you are involved in an accident, it may also hurt you if you caused one because you were on your cell phone or turning on a red light.

There are pros and cons to installing a dash cam in your car. Getting answers to the questions you have about this topic will help you decide if you should install one in your vehicle to protect yourself if you are involved in a car accident. If you do have a dash cam in your car, and you are involved in a car accident that has left you injured, consult with a car accident lawyer. They can help you determine if the footage you have can be used in court to help prove your case.