Sometimes the police report, statements from those involved and medical records are enough to establish fault for a crash. However, sometimes victims need more evidence, particularly when the insurance company attempts to deny or underpay the claim. In these situations, footage from a dashboard camera could be a big help.
Our experienced Harrisburg-based vehicle accident attorneys discuss how dash cam footage could impact a car crash claim, both positively and negatively. If you have questions after a car crash or are having trouble with the insurance company, give us a call today. You can schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
Recovering Footage from a Dash Cam
If the dashboard camera that recorded the crash is in your car, you can inform your lawyer and review the camera’s instruction manual to determine how to obtain the footage. Your attorney can review the footage to determine if it may help your case.
However, if the dash cam is in the other driver’s car, obtaining the footage could be much more complicated. You will likely need help from an experienced attorney, as he or she may need to formally request the footage. The other driver may be legally required to provide the footage as it may contain vital evidence about the accident.
It may not be necessary to go through the process of requesting the footage. An experienced attorney should be able to review the situation and determine if it is necessary to take this step. At Phillips Law Group, we are committed to pursuing maximum compensation as quickly as possible.
How Dash Cam Footage Could Help Your Case
The footage from the camera may clearly show that the other driver is at fault. For example, the footage may show the other driver breaking a traffic law seconds before the collision. The footage may show the other driver distracted or looking intoxicated after exiting the vehicle following the crash.
Dash cam footage also shows the moments leading up to the accident, not just the crash itself. The footage may help fill in gaps in statements made by both parties in the crash. They may have forgotten or left out key details that help assign fault to the parties involved.
Extra evidence like footage from a dash cam could be very helpful if the insurance company is disputing the severity of the crash or the fault of its policyholder. If you are struggling with recovering compensation in a first-party claim – which could happen if the insurance company claims your injuries are not related to the crash – the footage may strengthen your case.
How Dash Cam Footage May Hurt Your Case
It is important to remember dash camera footage could potentially hurt your case. If you are using dash camera footage from your vehicle, but the camera obstructed your view out of the windshield, it may help back up the insurance company’s claims about you being partially at fault.
Pennsylvania law requires dash cams to be installed out of the range of airbag deployment. You can either place it in the lower right corner of the windshield in an area not exceeding seven inches; lower left corner in an area that does not exceed five square inches; or in the upper center of the windshield in an area not exceeding five inches.
If you did not do this, you may receive a traffic citation at the scene of the crash. Even though the citation may have had nothing to do with the cause of the crash, you can be sure the insurance company will use it against you. They may have a point, if it obstructed your view and this contributed to the crash, even in a small way.
It may be tempting to tamper with footage if you think it may hurt your case. However, tampering with the footage could be a crime. You could face criminal penalties for tampering with footage that may be used in a legal proceeding. Make sure not to delete any of the footage.
In some cases, footage does not help or hurt your case. For example, if the footage is grainy or unclear, your lawyer will be unlikely to use it to help your case.
It is important not to share the footage with the insurance company before talking to a lawyer. The insurance company may request the footage at some point. However, by sharing it with your lawyer first, he or she can be prepared for how the insurance company may try to use it against you.
Should You Consider Getting a Dashboard Camera?
This is a decision that is up to you. However, there are benefits to having one of these cameras installed. While it could help you strengthen your case for compensation after a car crash, it could also help you catch people who stole your car or vandalized it.
Parents may want to install such a camera in their teenage driver’s car to monitor how they are driving. Parents could discuss concerning behaviors with the child to correct them.
Have Legal Questions After a Car Crash? Call Schmidt Kramer
We are here to help car crash victims secure full compensation for their damages, and our services come at no upfront cost. We do not get paid for representing our clients unless they are compensated for their damages.
For more than three decades, we have been helping crash victims and have secured millions on their behalf.
Schmidt Kramer. We are here to help. Call (717) 727-2669.