Can Dashcams be Used in a Personal Injury Case?
Dashcams used to be only for people like police officers and Nascar drivers. Nowadays, there are more affordable versions that can be mounted on your windshield to record every mile you travel. They are small and unobtrusive and can send all of the video they record back to a server to be downloaded later.
They can be used to preserve a scenic ride, but more importantly, they can record the key moments right before an accident. Dashcams can prove you were not to blame in a crash, but then the question becomes, can that footage be used in court?
Are Dash Cams Legal in Kentucky?
Across the nation, dashcams are generally allowed everywhere. Some states haven’t directly dealt with the issue of dashcams in statutes and laws but have no laws prohibiting them.
Some states also mandate rules to keep a dashcam from obstructing too much of a windshield. The guidelines limit the space that a dashcam can occupy to under five square inches in the left corner and under seven square inches in the right corner.
Can Dashcams be Used in a Personal Injury Case in Kentucky?
In Kentucky and Indiana, dashcams can be utilized as evidence in claims for damage in an accident.
To be admitted into evidence, a proper foundation must be laid though. The footage must be unobstructed, of sufficient quality to be of probative value, and depict what it purports to show. One way of laying that foundation is through the testimony of a person who was present at the time that the video footage was made and can testify to its accuracy. In all likelihood, that would be the personal injury claimant himself or herself.
Dash Cam Evidence in Court
Clear and indisputable footage of what happened in an accident can cause an insurance company to reconsider its position on liability. If an insurer refuses to acknowledge what the video shows, laying a proper foundation for admission of the dash cam footage into evidence will be required. That’s a job for a dedicated and well-prepared car accident lawyer. Then, 12 people on a jury can view the footage and arrive at their own collective decision.
The Damages Issue
The fact that the evidence showing liability is strong won’t keep an opposing insurance company from disputing an injury claimant’s damages. That evidence is separate from the liability issues, and the damages alleged by a claimant must be properly put into evidence. If they’re not in evidence, a jury isn’t allowed consider them. A skilled car accident lawyer will also be needed for that purpose.
Common Evidence Captured by Dashcams
Dashcams can make a big difference for victims injured in an accident, especially if they weren’t at fault. The recorded video can often be irrefutable evidence of what happened. It may be the difference between a victim getting stuck with the cost of recovery or getting fair compensation from an insurance company for those expenses resulting from a serious collision.
The footage can capture everything that led up to a crash. The responsible driver may give up their argument when they finally get to see what the video has to show.
The evidence captured can include these factors and more:
- Speed of a driver.
- When a driver was braking.
- When a driver was breaking a traffic law.
- Seatbelt usage.
- Road Conditions.
- Who was driving.
- Spotting possible witnesses seen nearby.
A dashcam recording can be even more important than a police officer’s accident report. An officer may even side with you after an accident, but their testimony may not be allowed in a civil case. The trial may come down to “he said, she said” and, luckily, also the footage captured by your dashcam.
Tips on Dashcam Use on Kentucky Roads
Dashcams are powerful tools that can reassure you when you drive the streets and highways around Kentucky. There are plenty of careless drivers out on the road every day, and some video protection is always better than none at all.
There are some ways to get more use out of your dashcam. Here are some tips that can make your dashcam more effective, especially when you’re forced to use video in a personal injury case:
- Front and Back Dashcams: There are units that record out your front windshield and out the back windshield are best. With a front camera only, you might get hit from behind but won’t have any video from that angle. Back-up cameras aren’t a substitute for a dashcam because they generally don’t record video.
- Take Your Dashcam with You After the Accident: Grab your dashcam after an accident. Your car may be towed away and you may not be able to retrieve it for a while.
- Use Dashcams from Other Drivers: You may not have a dashcam, but the driver behind you might have been recording. Ask any motorists who saw your accident if they have dashcams.
- Use Your Phone: You might not have a dashcam, but your phone takes video and pictures. Take pictures of the damage and the location of your crash. Also, record witnesses’ statements if they will allow it.
For more on the many ways dashcams can be used in an accident case watch this video of a discussion with Attorney Cara Stigger from Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC of Louisville on an episode of Listen Live!
After a Serious Accident Contact a Kentucky Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to the carelessness of another driver, contact a Kentucky Law Firm to represent and protect you while you heal. Whether you have dashcam video of the collision or not, we can investigate the circumstances of your accident and build a strong case to win compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial hardships.
The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the compensation they’ll need to fully recover. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443, or click here to contact them online.