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Dash Cams Can Save You In A Legal Battle

Law Blog

Not all car accidents have an obvious fault. Some situations are side-swipes with a lot of traffic that obscure the perpetrator's mistakes, or when someone backs up into your car in the middle of the road by accident, only to blame you for rear-ending them. With a small investment, a dash cam can save you hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars as you defend yourself from both small mistakes, big incidents, and ridiculous attempts at fraud.

How Does A Dash Cam Do Its Job?

Dash cams are a combination of high-quality cameras and a storage unit, although other features such as microphones and cellular radios are sometimes added. They record whatever happens in their view, and don't need to be attached to a bulky desktop or laptop computer to do their job.

The most useful types of dash cams will include a widescreen or panoramic lens or a fisheye lens at the very least. The useful lenses will be able to see slightly to the sides of the windshield, and a basic setup should include a camera for the front and back of the car.

Storage for modern dash cams is internal and with no moving parts. Solid state storage is used and is usually more along the lines of a flash drive or thumb drive than the more expensive computer solid state drives. Fast performance is completely unnecessary with these cameras since their function is simple.

The dash cam system will include information on how to copy and delete footage, along with the amount of time the camera will record until it begins overwriting old information. Every brand and quality are different, but you should search for dash cams that record at least 6 hours of video at a time.

Using Dash Cams In Legal Defense

The general idea is easy: if you're in an accident and you know that the other party is at fault, you can use the camera to prove your point. This works in most cases, but you need to be aware of the situations where dash cameras may not be useful.

Remember the widescreen lens feature? This is important because not all accidents are directly in front or behind. Be sure that your camera captures the entire front and rear windshield area, as you'll need a clear shot of what the other car was doing before the accident happened. 

Submitting the evidence is as easy as giving the camera over to police, but don't be so eager to leave it up to law enforcement. There's always a chance that the camera may be broken or lost, and the rare chance that police may be involved in wrongdoing. You don't have to do a lot of work to protect yourself; leave a backup storage device in your car and copy the data.

Finally, be careful around your legal opponent. Some people are tempted to scream about their camera at the top of their lungs after an accident as a shout of victory, but there's always a chance that the other person may resort to violence to destroy or hide the camera. Just wait for police and preferably your attorney to be on the scene.

Contact a car accident attorney to discuss dash cameras and their legality in your state, as well as the best ways to get evidence to an attorney in a panicked or rushed situation.   


1 September 2017