January 10, 2023 | Laws
Vehicle dash cams are becoming much more popular, to the point where many auto manufacturers offer the option of installing front and rear cameras in new vehicles. These cameras and the footage they capture can play a vital role when it comes to determining liability for a vehicle accident. Here, we want to discuss whether or not dashcam footage can be used for an insurance settlement or during a personal injury trial after an accident.
Modern dash cams are typically small devices, usually smaller than a modern cell phone. These devices will be mounted on the inside of the front windshield and possibly on the back windshield if a person opts to install front and rear cameras. Sometimes, the dashcams will have a little screen that the driver can see, but not always. These devices will also have a memory storage device that records what is happening so that any event that occurs can be viewed later.
There are certainly some benefits to having a dashcam inside of your vehicle in West Virginia. These incidents can record the negligent actions of other drivers that lead up to an accident. If the old saying is “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” then a dashcam video could be worth 100,000 words. Video footage can provide undisputed evidence about the events leading up to an incident. This can be incredibly useful for an insurance claim or during a personal injury lawsuit.
Yes, dashcam footage can be used in court during a civil personal injury trial in West Virginia. These cameras are legal in the state, and they have been used in many personal injury cases. However, we should caution all individuals that dashcam footage may not necessarily be the only type of evidence needed to win a claim.
Depending on the positioning of the dashcam inside the vehicle, or the angle at which the accident occurred, the video footage may not show the negligent actions that led to the incident. There may need to be additional investigations into the incident to help prove what happened. Dashcam footage will almost always be used in conjunction with other types of evidence gathered at the scene of the incident and in the days and weeks that followed the incident.
Additionally, we do want to caution that dashcam footage can be used against the very driver that owns the camera. If the driver who has a dashcam installed was at fault for the incident, they may be forced to provide that footage to the court, and this could ultimately be used against them.
We strongly encourage individuals involved in a vehicle accident claim to contact a Martinsburg accident attorney about their case. Even if you have dashcam footage that clearly shows what happened, go to an attorney for a free consultation so they can examine the evidence and help ensure that you are taking the right steps. These cases can be complicated, and insurance carriers or legal teams for the other party may still find a way to limit how much compensation they pay or even shift some of the blame onto you.