Personal Injury

Can Video Camera Footage Prove Negligence in an Accident Claim?

Posted by Trent Kelly on October 21, 2022
Can Video Camera Footage Prove Negligence in an Accident Claim?

The only evidence that never lies about any accident is video footage. A video clearly shows how an accident occurred. While operating a vehicle, drivers have a duty to remain alert and follow all applicable traffic regulations. Video footage can show if a driver was negligent in breaking that duty to other road users.

If you have suffered at the hands of another’s negligence, you need the legal team at TK Injury Lawyers, who can help guide you through the next steps of your accident case.

Video Camera Footage Admissible in Court

Video footage can come in many different forms: dashcams, red-light cameras, “body cams,” and even cell phone footage. The list is endless.

Dashboard Cameras

A dashboard camera or “dashcam” will typically attach to the windshield of your vehicle. There are apps you can download to turn your smartphone into a dashcam.  Depending on the complexity of the dashcam, you may be able to record both the exterior road and the interior of your vehicle.

The camera normally turns on when you start the engine and turns off when you stop the engine. More advanced dashcams will have G-force sensors built in that will automatically save footage if they sense a strong force hitting the vehicle.

Higher-end dashcams also have GPS to monitor your speed and even your rate of acceleration. Dashboard cameras do record on a “loop,” meaning that older footage is often recorded over with newer video coverage.

Many drivers have dashcams, and the footage is almost always admissible in court. In Texas, the only restriction in using dashcams is attaching objects to the windshield in a way that would obstruct the driver’s view.

Red-Light Cameras

Also known as photographic traffic signals, these types of cameras are mounted above a traffic light or on a street pole facing the intersection. The camera will flash and take a picture of a vehicle as it passes through an intersection once light has turned red.

In June of 2019, the Texas legislature passed a law prohibiting the use of red-light cameras in traffic enforcement. The city of Austin used traffic cameras for nearly a decade at 10 different intersections but was forced to turn off their cameras when the new law went into effect in 2019. Unfortunately, the ban of red-light cameras removes a key piece of evidence during an accident investigation.

Body Cams

Police officers may have a body camera that they wear to record the interaction between themselves and other members of the community. It is typically clipped to the officer’s uniform with a forward-facing viewable area.

This type of evidence is often admissible in court and it may be crucial in corroborating witness testimony.

Cell Phone Footage

A bystander or even a passenger in one of the vehicles may be able to record the accident on their cell phone. Although cell phones are ubiquitous, videos captured on a cell phone are often unreliable. Videos are inadmissible in court if the video is of poor quality, or if the time and/or location of the filming cannot be confirmed.

All video evidence must be authenticated before being entered into evidence. In order to authenticate video footage, someone must testify to its credibility. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will have the necessary skills to convince a judge that the video is relevant in order for it to be admitted into evidence.

How Do I Get a Hold of Video Camera Footage?

Depending on the type of footage, different protocols will need to be followed to obtain the video. In Austin, the public is allowed to request video footage from a law enforcement agency. Certain criteria, including the date and time, specific location, and one or more persons known to be the subject of the recording, must be submitted.

Insurance adjusters frequently review camera footage to study how the accident took place. If the insurance adjuster works for the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they will study the footage in an attempt to disprove your claim.

A personal injury lawyer will review where your accident took place and investigate which private businesses or government entities may have cameras in the vicinity that could have caught your accident on film. If the party holding the video footage refuses to release it, an attorney can help you by getting a subpoena to obtain the footage. A subpoena is a court order that requests the production of documents from a reluctant party.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Near You Today

Video camera footage can come to the rescue if you have been involved in an accident. In filing a claim, you need all the evidence that is available to you. Although video footage can be difficult to obtain, it will be crucial in proving the other party’s liability. Contact TK Injury Lawyers today to find out how we can help you.

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