It’s always a good idea to gather as much relevant evidence as you can after a car crash. We are increasingly representing clients involved in motor vehicle crashes in which one of the vehicles had a dash cam installed in it. (We have also obtained dash cam video footage from the other vehicles.) Videos from these dash cams can really assist in determining fault and liability. For those who don’t know, a dash-cam is a small digital video camera that mounts to the dashboard and records what the driver sees out of the windshield. Some models can record the inside, rear, and sides as well. As soon as the vehicle starts, the dash cam records in a continuous loop and the video (and audio if available) are stored onto a memory card.
Generally, with the proper legal foundation, the dash cam video recording would be admissible in court. I have had clients bring show me their dash cam video recordings that directly contradict what the other driver told the police officer at the scene of the crash. It’s pretty damning to be confronted with a video of running right through a stop sign when you told the officer that you came to a complete stop and looked both ways. They can be used in other ways as well, such as showing the severity of the impact.
As with all technology, the prices have come down over the years and it may be worth your while to purchase one, depending on the amount of driving you do. Many decent models can be purchased for under $100. Of course, if you have one, understand that if you’re at fault, it can be used against you.
Here’s a compilation of dash cam videos of drivers driving badly: (View discretion advised.)
Michael Raff, Esq.