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It wasn’t long ago that the only modern technology in our cars was a tape deck. Jamming out to both sides of the latest REO Speedwagon cassette was pretty high-tech in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but the game has changed. Cars can play your music from your iTunes account, not with the push of a button, but rather with the sound of your voice. On some cars, you can gesture to open the doors or even turn on the radio, and the current line-up from Tesla even allows the car to steer on its own. However, no cars are currently offered from the factory with a dash cam.
Dash cams aren’t really new technology; police officers have been using them for decades. Also, they’ve been quite popular in Russia for quite a while. Even I’ll admit that I’ve spent way too much time watching dash cam videos from Russia on YouTube. However, dash cams are just starting to catch on in the United States. But, how can they impact a Personal Injury claim?
While dash cams are great for a lot of reasons, keep in mind that they aren’t some sort of miracle device. Simply having footage of your wreck alone won’t prove fault, and won’t necessarily help you get a settlement. For instance, if you were involved in a rear-end collision, and your dash camera was pointing out the front of the vehicle, it’s not going to show much of your accident other than the moment of impact. This footage will not likely show the driver who impacted you, what they were doing to cause the accident, or if they were at fault.
This is not to say that a dash cam can’t do a lot to prove fault in your accident, though. This is especially true if you have a good angle of what occurred. Take for instance the video we have featured here. This person actually had both front and rear cameras in their vehicle. In this accident, the vehicle with the dash cam was hit from behind. While rear-end collisions generally place fault with the driver of the trailing vehicle, a few unique things happen in this particular wreck that may help prove the extent of injuries for the driver of the lead vehicle. For one, the driver was texting and driving. In fact, he does not lay his phone down for quite a while after he impacts the van. So, that footage could be used to say the driver of the truck was being negligent. It’s also possible the footage could be used to cite the driver of the black truck for multiple violations. For instance, the driver of the black truck was not wearing his seatbelt. Now, where the real unique part of this video comes in into play is when the driver of the truck collides with the van. He actually hits the accelerator relatively hard. So, there is the initial impact, and then the secondary impact of the truck pushing the van. The black truck weighs at least 10,000 pounds. So, if the driver of the van was injured, an attorney could argue about severity based on the footage.
As time progresses, and as the public becomes more aware of dash cams, we will start to see more and more of these videos come into play in personal injury cases. If you are going to install one in your car, make sure that you’re not violating any state laws, and make sure that they are not obstructing your view. Dash cams come in all shapes and sizes, so they can be a little tricky to set up the first time.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and are seeking legal representation, call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. You can also fill out this form now, and a representative will call you at your convenience.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law