Are Dashcams Helpful for Auto Accident Claims in South Florida?

by Sep 9, 2021Auto Accident, Car Accidents, Hit and Run Accident

Are Dashcams Helpful for Auto Accident Claims in South Florida?

by Sep 9, 2021Auto Accident, Car Accidents, Hit and Run Accident

Dashcam in south florida
Dashcam in south florida

The evidence that supports Auto Accident Claims in South Florida comes from many sources other than eyewitnesses. Thanks to technology, vehicles come equipped with event data recorders and dash cams. Event data recorders supply data such as a vehicle’s speed, whether drivers or passengers were using seat belts, and braking distance.

Numbers, while helpful to you or a South Florida Auto Accident Attorney, don’t have the impact that comes when a jury or judge can actually watch the wreck happen. Videos of the wreck supply important facts that may elude the memory or perceptions of drivers, passengers, or witnesses. Below, we explain how a dash cam works, how it can help your case, and the pitfalls to avoid if dashcam footage does not favor you.

How a Dashcam Operates

You mount the dash cam on your car’s dashboard. Generally, Florida law does not prohibit these cameras so long as it does not obstruct your front rearview. This should allow placement on your dashboard. Some dashcams can be hardwired to your vehicle’s electrical system but most just simply plug into your cigarette lighter socket.

Depending on the model, your dashcam can record what happens both in front and behind you. Once you turn the ignition on, the dashcam will capture images whether your vehicle is moving or stationary. A micro-SD or standard SD card stores the recorded data at certain time intervals. When the card becomes full, your dashcam will record over the oldest data. Those who might rely upon dashcam video for auto accident claims in South Florida should preserve the card as soon as the accident occurs to avoid recording over the footage.

Capturing the Crash Scene

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 884 intersection crashes in 2019 involved fatalities, with another 6,748 causing incapacitating injuries. Motor vehicle crashes at intersections invariably raise the question of who had the green light. With a working dashcam, a South Florida Auto Accident Attorney can show if you had a green light and if the other driver ran a red light.

Dashcams capture lights, signs, the presence of other cars or people in the intersection and elsewhere, the weather, and the time of day or night. The footage may reveal the grade of the road, ruts, or other conditions that contributed to the crash.

Impact of the vehicles

Photographs can adequately show the location and type of collisions and the extent of the damage. Still photography lacks the ability that dashcams provide juries and courts like the sounds of screeching tires, metal striking each other, and shattered windshields. With some collisions comes enough force to move vehicles several feet or spin vehicles.

Such imagery and sound might make decision-makers more receptive to your claim of pain and suffering. These economic damages compensate you for the trauma, shock, discomfort, instant and ongoing physical and mental pain that an automobile crash can inflict. Hard impacts also diminish your ability to perform work or household activities. Your spouse may have a loss of consortium claim based on the fact that your spouse must care for you and assume many more chores and housekeeping responsibilities.

Actions of the Driver and Passengers

The dashcam video affords a South Florida Auto Accident Attorney strong evidence of the other driver’s actions right before and during the crash. In particular, a video of the other driver texting, reading, or creating social media posts, looking down at a smartphone for several seconds, or changing radio stations powerfully illustrates the lack of attention to the road. In 2020, distracted driving accounted for 308 fatal crashes in Florida. Preliminary reports place the figure at 121 through early June 2021.

Children, newspapers, and eating also distract motorists. Consider footage showing a parent turning around to look at or correct a child while navigating busy Florida streets or highways. Auto Accident Claims in South Florida also turn upon drivers reaching for a dropped phone, holding a sandwich while trying to steer a vehicle, or seemingly staring at the sky or some road attraction.

The Inside Sounds

Use caution when it comes to recording discussions inside the vehicle. Florida law requires that all parties to a conversation consent to its recording. Those may include your passengers and persons calling or speaking on Bluetooth or a smartphone. If you record others without their consent, you could face civil or even criminal liability. To be safe, notify everyone in your car or calling while you’re in the car that you have a dashcam, that it may record sounds, and that their riding in the car or calling is consent to being recorded.

With that said, audio recordings often feature the “excited utterances” and exclamations from you or passengers as the collision occurs. The statements made under the stress of or immediately upon the occurrence of the crash come with considerable reliability. The speakers of these utterances lack the time and opportunity to spin or shape them in the light most favorable to you.

Dash Cam Footage Can Be Negative

Dashcam footage might show you running a red light or stop sign, weaving in and out of traffic, or using your smartphone. The footage will reveal whether you had other distractions in the vehicle or whether the true conditions or actions by you or others contradict your version of events. Your movements or absence of bruises or cuts as captured by the dashcam may show that you’re not as hurt as you claim.

Do Not Alter the Footage

You should not delete dashcam footage or audio simply because it may prove harmful to your case. Removing footage or altering it could open you up to a “spoliation of evidence” claim. A finding that you destroyed evidence might lead a court to strike your pleadings or to a presumption that you were not damaged as you contend or that the opposing party’s version of how the crash occurred. Similarly, a South Florida Accident Attorney might seek sanctions or get a judgment for you if the opposing party deleted or destroyed the dashcam footage or storage devices.

If a motor vehicle accident happens, quickly preserve the dashcam recording. Let a South Florida Auto Accident Attorney review it along with medical records, crash reports, event data recorders, photographs, and other evidence to build your claim.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content