Determining fault for some accidents may be more complicated than it is for others and could require more evidence to prove who caused the crash. For example, dashcam footage may provide strong proof of the cause of a crash and/or the other driver’s negligent actions.
If you were involved in an accident in which fault is difficult to prove, you should strongly consider speaking to one of our experienced Fort Worth auto accident attorneys. During your free consultation, our attorneys can discuss how we may be able to help investigate your claim and gather the necessary evidence to prove your case. For example, if there was a dashcam in another driver’s car, we may be able to help obtain it, as there is some legal red tape to get through.
There are no upfront fees, and we only get paid if we win.
What is a Dashcam?
These video cameras are usually mounted on the interior windshield or dashboard of a vehicle for recording purposes. Some cameras have more capabilities than others, depending on the type of camera. A base model dashcam usually only records one-way video without audio. However, there are some newer models that record audio and visuals from both inside and outside the vehicle.
Most dashcams record up to about six hours of footage at a time, the equivalent of about 2GB of data storage. Once the available memory is used up, the recording resets and what was previously on the drive is erased. Users who wish to preserve footage from these cameras usually may do so on a computer, tablet or smartphone equipped with the necessary software.
Are Dashcams Legal in Texas?
The use of dashcams in Texas is lawful so long as you are not violating other state laws, including the following:
- Windshield obstruction laws – Drivers are not to operate a motor vehicle with any objects or materials attached to the windshield, side window or rear window that reduces or obstructs the driver’s clear view.
- Airbag obstruction laws – It is prohibited to attach an object to a dashboard in a way that obstructs the deployment of airbags in a vehicle.
- Audio recording restrictions – Recording of audio must be disclosed to passengers in a vehicle unless you are part of the conversation.
- Distracted driving laws – Dashcams should not be distracting to a driver when in use, and any live video feed on a monitor should be out of the driver’s line of sight.
If you are using a dashcam in your vehicle, it is best to keep it muted and out of the way of your line of sight or from obstructing your view of the road. It is often best to keep dashcams in the corner on the passenger side, so they do not obstruct your view of traffic.
Can Footage in the Dashcam Help My Case?
Dashcam footage may be used to prove fault for an accident if the maneuver of an at-fault driver is visible in the recording. This may include when a driver:
- Weaves in and out of traffic
- Drives in an otherwise reckless manner
If your dashcam captured these actions, the footage may be a key piece of evidence to help prove the accident was caused by the other driver. With such compelling evidence, the insurance company may be more willing to offer a settlement to avoid the risks of going to court where they may be ordered to pay out more compensation.
Can it be Used Against Me?
Just as the footage in the dashcam can prove someone else’s reckless or negligent driving, so can it prove your own. The insurance company is likely going to look for any reason to pin at least partial blame on you.
Fortunately, Texas’ modified comparative negligence laws allow individuals who are less than 50 percent at fault for a crash to recover compensation for their damages. However, that compensation would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
What if the Dashcam Was in Another Vehicle?
If the dashcam was in another vehicle, either that of the at-fault driver or another vehicle not involved in the crash, getting the footage may prove more difficult. That does not mean that the footage is unusable as evidence, though.
Just as if the camera were in your vehicle, it would record actions conducted by all vehicles within the range of the camera’s lens.
If the camera was in an eyewitness driver’s vehicle, you may be able to ask the person for the video to use it as evidence. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to speak to other drivers at the scene of the crash if it is safe to do so.
How Do I Get Dashcam Footage from an At-Fault Vehicle?
If the camera was in the vehicle being driven by the driver who caused the crash, he or she may be very reluctant to simply hand over the footage for fear of being found at fault and therefore having his or her insurance rates skyrocket in the future.
The liable party may be compelled to release the footage if a lawsuit is filed and you request the information during the discovery process of the case. Remember, a party that purposely withholds any evidence relevant to the case without cause may find themselves in serious legal trouble.
Let Us Help. Call Today
When the insurance company is disputing liability, or the at-fault driver is denying he or she caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, having footage from a dashcam may come in handy to prove fault. However, getting access to the footage if it is not in your own vehicle may be difficult.
Let our experienced lawyers, who have access to vast legal resources, help you through the process. We offer a free consultation to review your claim and see what legal options may be available to you.
Call (817) 920-9000 to schedule your free consultation.