Can Dash Cam Footage Be Used as Evidence in a Car Accident Case?
Proving liability for a car crash is rarely straightforward or without challenges. For this and other reasons, it is vital that you gather all available evidence to help support your claim for compensation. Aside from a police report and witness statements, challenging cases may need more evidence to what caused the collision. In a complicated car crash case, having access to dash cam footage could help clarify who is liable for your damages.
Read more about how dash cam footage may help to prove liability for a car crash case below. Our experienced Milwaukee-based vehicle accident attorneys also discuss how the insurance company may try to use this footage against you. If you have questions or need help after a collision, contact our firm to set up a free, zero-risk legal consultation.
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Is It Legal to Install Dash Cams in Wisconsin?
It is legal to use dash cams in the state of Wisconsin. However, there are specific installation restrictions drivers must follow.
A dash cam cannot obstruct a driver’s view of the road. Dash cams must be mounted behind the rearview mirror. The dash cam also cannot block the area cleaned by a vehicle’s windshield wipers.
What Evidence Could a Dash Cam Capture?
A dash cam may provide objective evidence to prove who or what caused the crash. It may also provide other insight about the incident. For instance, if there were any other contributing factors that may have led to the crash. Dash cam footage may have captured the events leading up to, during and after the car accident.
Captured footage that could be useful to your claim includes the color, make, model and license plate of the vehicle that hit you. In certain situations, such as a hit-and-run, these details could help police identify the at-fault party and provide evidence that supports your claim.
How Dash Cam Footage May Help Your Attorney
Dash cam footage may help your attorney add strong evidence to your case if the recording reveals:
- You were driving within the posted speed limit
- You were driving straight ahead and in your traffic lane
- You were hit by another driver to the left or right of you
- The vehicle traveled ahead of you and swerved into your lane
Behavior Captured By Dash Cam Could Help
Dash cam footage may sometimes capture the other driver’s behavior and help to confirm that individual’s negligence caused the crash. Perhaps the dash cam captured the other driver getting out after the crash and acting hostile toward you.
Most dash cams today include audio recording. This could be useful to your claim as well if the other driver approached your vehicle and spoke to you.
For instance, if the other driver came up to your vehicle and:
- Apologized for causing the crash
- Threatened you in a hostile manner
- Spoke with slurred speech, as if under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Any conversations recorded by the dash cam may provide additional evidence that could help to prove your claim.
Other Ways Dash Cam Footage Could Help Your Case
Even a few days after a car crash, you may begin to forget critical details about what happened. It is never a good idea to solely rely on the evidence of the other driver. Even witnesses at the scene may not always be useful. If your attorney finds a witness is not credible, his or her testimony could do more harm than good to your claim.
A dash cam could reveal valuable evidence to help your case for compensation. One example is if the other driver cut you off, ran a red light or failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. This evidence may help prove the other driver was at fault and that he or she violated the law.
“He said, she said” disputes are the basis of many car accident cases. In this type of situation, dash cam footage may provide the strong evidence you need. Camera footage is hard evidence that even the at-fault driver’s insurer would have a difficult time challenging.
Another helpful aspect of dash camera footage is that it is timestamped. When you have this type of solid evidence, your attorney can use it as leverage in negotiating for your settlement. Often, this evidence may be enough for the insurance company to provide a reasonable offer, without the expense of a court trial. Generally, since it is legal to install a dash cam in your vehicle, the courts accept dash cam footage as admissible evidence.
Could My Dash Cam Footage Be Used Against Me?
There are several ways that the insurance company may either try to invalidate the footage on your dash cam or use it against you in some way.
For instance, some of the reasons for invalidating the footage may include:
- It is inconclusive: The recording may have been grainy or unclear due to bad weather or the time of day.
- It was altered: The insurance company may try to say you altered or edited the footage.
- The camera was improperly installed: While this may have nothing to do with the crash, it could cause you to get a ticket. The insurance company would likely try to use this to hurt your claim.
- Your footage did not capture the collision: Your vehicle may have been struck in an area not captured by the dash cam. If so, the at-fault driver’s insurer may try to shift blame to you for the crash.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to find anything they can use to dispute your claim. That is why it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who can support you and fight to protect your interests.
Recovering Footage from a Dash Cam
Make sure that you inform your attorney if you have dash cam footage. This footage should be viewed right away and before it has a chance to get lost, tampered with or damaged. Your attorney will also want to find out as soon as possible if the footage captured could help to prove your car accident case.
If the other driver has a dash cam, he or she is unlikely to hand over the footage just because you ask for it. However, your attorney can formally request they turn over this footage. The law may require the other driver to turn over the footage if it contains valuable information about the cause of the accident.
Learn How We May Be Able to Help You
At PKSD, we have been helping crash victims for many years and have recovered millions in compensation on their behalf. Our experienced legal team is committed to seeking the maximum compensation possible for all of our clients.
We offer a free initial consultation, and this meeting carries no legal obligation to you. We welcome your questions and are ready to help. If you choose to hire our firm, you pay nothing up front or while we work on your case. You only pay for our services if we help you obtain a recovery through a settlement or verdict.
Call 877-877-2228 for a Free Case Review.