If you spend enough time on YouTube, one kind of video you’ll likely come across will display Dashcam footage, usually showing you some amusing or wildly dangerous and illegal behavior on the road. Beyond the occasional entertainment value of Dashcams (or dashboard cameras), it’s important to consider the potential role they might play as evidence in the aftermath of an accident.
A recent article shared on Insurance News Net examines the increased use of Dashcams among drivers in the US. Some people have used them to prevent getting defrauded by auto insurance or personal injury scammers. For example, the footage from the Dashcam may show someone quite obviously staging an accident. It may reveal inaccuracies or lies in another driver’s account of what happened.
Even in cases that don’t involve dishonest or criminal behavior, the footage from a Dashcam may provide a clearer idea of what happened during a collision and serve as evidence of fault. This is potentially helpful when you deal with insurance companies. It can also play an important role in civil suits, especially in places like Maryland, DC and Virginia, which follow a principle of pure contributory negligence – meaning that if you share any of the fault for an accident, even a small amount, you generally get awarded nothing during a suit (although there are possible exceptions to this general rule that you should discuss with your attorney).
In general, Dashcams can be useful, and these days they aren’t prohibitively expensive. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they have their limitations. For example, any footage collected from a Dashcam needs to be authenticated and interpreted; there may be more going on than what meets the eye. There are also times when the camera may not capture what you need it to show; for instance, some models don’t work well recording events at night. And of course, having a Dashcam doesn’t actually prevent accidents or mitigate any resulting injury or property damage.
If you have Dashcam footage of your accident, or if the other driver has footage that they intend to use against you, be sure to raise this issue when you contact an experienced Eastern Shore accident attorney. Along with mobile devices and other technology, Dashcams are one of a number of tools that can be used to piece together what happened during a crash.
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