If a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, Dashcams Are Worth a Trillion
Jan. 19, 2021
How Our Naperville Car Accident Attorneys Use Dashcams to Help Our Clients
Forget about, "He said/she said," a dash cam may be all you need to prove your case. While it is true that most of our time is spent arguing about injuries and medical treatment/bills as opposed to who is at fault for a car accident, it is also true that tough liability cases are TOUGH CASES! A dashcam probably won't save the day in a rear-end collision case because the front car is almost never at-fault (some people argue that if the front car makes a sudden stop then it shares some blame, but in my humble opinion, that is a garbage argument - more about that one in another blog post). If, however, there is a dispute as to who ran the red light a dashcam will lay to rest any doubt. Dashcams may also catch some conversation, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! I looked down at my phone for 1 second and I didn't see you!"
Our attorneys routinely seek dashcam footage from the cars involved in collisions as well as cars that were at the scene when a collision occurs. For example, we represent a driver that was injured in a crash on a highway. There were a number of things that caused our client's injuries, and it wasn't just one person's fault. A semi-truck driver called 911, we got the 911 call recording and his information by issuing a subpoena to the 911 call center. The truck driver mentioned in his 911 call that he thought his dashcam captured the whole thing and guess what? IT DID. We now know who caused the collision...and it was not the person everyone originally thought.
Beyond Dashcams - Cameras Are Everywhere
Despite the fact that dashcams are becoming increasingly popular, it is rare that we are able to obtain dashcam footage from drivers involved in collision and even more rare to find dashcam footage from cars not involved. However, when a car accident client comes to us for help and we are concerned about our ability to prove who is at fault for a collision, we search high and low for any camera that can shed some light on liability. We look at Google street maps, Google Earth, and pictures taken at the scene. We look for gas stations, banks, red-light cameras, and crime prevention cameras (PODS) and if we find anything that might lead to footage of the crash we get it right away. Camera footage gets overwritten periodically so it is imperative that we act fast to preserve the evidence. This is one of many reasons why a car accident victim should call us right away after a crash.
We have been able to defeat frivolous defenses with dashcams or other camera footage on a number of car accident cases. Who ran the red light? Was the other driver following too closely? Was the other driver speeding? Did the middle car hit the first car first or were they pushed by the third car into the first car?
Dashcams - Evidence Worth Its Weight in Gold
For less than $100 you can find a front and rear dashcam on Amazon. If you are involved in a crash, preserve the footage for your insurance company and lawyer. After the crash happens, let the camera roll until everyone clears the scene - it might capture conversations or other things that could be useful in a case. The camera can help establish who was at fault. The camera doesn't lie, but insurance companies and defendants do.