Dashboard cameras, more commonly known as dash cams, are becoming increasingly popular in California. People sometimes use them to capture the actions of police officers while on duty, or to obtain footage of potentially dangerous drivers, such as individuals other motorists suspect are driving while impaired. Dash cams are also sometimes used to collect evidence during car accidents, as they can show what happened in the moments leading up to a crash and determine which driver was negligent. The question is, do dash cams help your case, or can they actually hurt it?
Are Dashboard Cameras Legal?
Dashboard cameras have been legal in California since 2011. However, there are restrictions placed on them. Dash cams cannot be any larger than five square inches when they are located in the upper center of the windshield. When they are placed in the lower right corner, dash cams can be no larger than seven square inches. Dashboard cameras can also not be placed anywhere an airbag would deploy.
It is also important to note that dashboard cameras do not only capture what is going on outside of a vehicle, they also record audio and video within the vehicle. Due to this, any passenger riding in a car must be informed that a dash cam is in place and is recording.
How Do Dashboard Cameras Affect Car Accident Claims?
In some cases, dashboard cameras are extremely useful in car accident claims. The footage can help show that another driver was negligent and that they caused your crash. If you have footage from a dash cam and inform the insurance company of this, they will likely heavily weigh the footage on the camera when determining the settlement amount they want to offer. If another person was responsible for the crash, a dashboard camera will greatly limit their ability to deny they violated any traffic laws, or engaged in unsafe driving behaviors.
However, while dashboard cameras have many benefits for car accident victims, it is just as important to understand that the footage can be used against you. If the other party believes that you were partly to blame for the crash and they know a dashboard camera was recording at the time, their car accident lawyer can subpoena the footage from the video.
Defendants that successfully use your own dashboard cameras against you can limit their liability, and cause the insurance company to reduce or deny any damages you believed you were entitled to. As such, accident victims should always understand the full benefits, as well as the ramifications they may face, when using a dashboard camera.
Our California Car Accident Lawyers can Help With Your Case
If you have been in a car accident while using a dashboard camera, or you believe the other party used a dash cam, our San Francisco car accident lawyers at Brod Law Firm can help. We know how to determine liability and prove your claim to give you the best chance of success with your case. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation and to learn more about how we can help.