If you are ever involved in a car accident, it’s important to collect evidence at the scene as much as possible. This includes collecting contact information for witnesses and the other driver(s) and taking photos.
However, photos only capture the scene after the accident took place, and eyewitness testimony may not reliably reflect the events that led to the accident. Dashcam footage, on the other hand, gives a view of what occurred before, during, and, after the crash. This can be beneficial for your case and if you do have a dashcam, it’s important to give your attorney access to this footage right away.
In all 50 states, dashcams are legal. In some states, wiretapping laws prevent you from using this footage for legal matters if they record conversations between the driver and passengers. Arizona, however, is a one-party consent state, so this is not an issue here.
One thing you do need to keep in mind to ensure your dashcam is legal is how you mount it. There are windshield regulations you need to comply with so the camera doesn’t obstruct your view. If you mount your dashcam improperly, you could be fined.
Benefits of a Dashcam
In many accidents, each driver will have a different perspective on what caused the crash. If it’s your word against someone else’s, the process of determining what truly happened is likely to be complex. Eyewitness testimony is not always accurate and recollection can change over time. Footage from a dashcam can clearly demonstrate what occurred before an accident, which can back up your account of the events.
Video from a dashboard camera can also demonstrate that you were driving safely leading up to the accident. If you were following traffic laws while the other driver was clearly speeding or ran a stop sign, this provides evidence that they were acting negligently.
What to Consider
There are some potential drawbacks to using a dashcam and it’s important to keep these in mind. For one thing, the footage could also be used against you. Audio from conversations in the car might indicate that you were distracted, for example. Arizona is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are partially at fault, it will reduce the damages you can receive for the accident.
What to Do After an Accident
If you were involved in an accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You should let them know if you have dashcam footage so they can review this evidence and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Keep in mind that even if you don’t have a dashcam, someone else may have captured video of the accident on theirs. You can ask any witnesses whose contact information you got after the accident.