How Dashcam Footage Can Be Used in Florida Injury Claims
A “dashcam” is a camera that is placed on the dashboard of a car or other motor vehicle. Dashcams record video footage of events occurring while driving. The footage can be especially useful as evidence depicting the sequence of events leading up to a traffic accident.
How Dashcam Footage Can Help Your Case
Florida Courts allow you to present dashcam evidence in support of your personal injury case. More specifically, dashcam evidence helps prove or disprove the following issues:
- Liability: Dashcam video can be used to show who was at fault for your injury or to demonstrate that you were not the cause of someone else’s injury.
- Events leading up to the injury: Footage from a dashcam may be critical for showing the sequence of events leading up to an injury. For example, a dashcam would be particularly important if someone failed to stop at a red light or stop sign and crashed into you.
- The severity of the injury: Dashcam evidence can show, for example, whether an injury resulted from a major or minor collision. Specifically, if the speed of a vehicle is in question, dashcam video can help prove how fast a vehicle was going at the time of a collision.
How to Obtain Dashcam Footage
Some individuals and commercial drivers use dashcams regularly. For example, if you do not have a dashcam, another individual who witnessed the injury/accident may have had an active dashcam at the time. If so, you or your lawyer can request to review or obtain a copy of the dashcam footage from such a witness.
Some businesses may have a policy requiring commercial drivers to use a dashcam while on the job. If a commercial driver is responsible for your injury, an attorney can use a subpoena which requires the business to hand over any video footage from an active dashcam. Furthermore, an attorney can formally request a party to the case preserves the dashcam footage for use in litigation.
How to Use Dashcam Footage in Court
In Florida, records may be presented as evidence to support important issues in a case. This includes photographic images and video recordings. A party trying to establish liability using dashcam video will also have to present evidence that such video is authentic and relevant to the lawsuit. Evidence authenticating dashcam footage may require the testimony of an expert witness familiar with the technical details of dashcam technology, and of the party who owned or recorded the video.
Additionally, dashcam evidence can be crucial in demonstrating the reliability of witnesses. For example, if a witness or party to a case offers testimony about a certain issue, dashcam evidence may be important to either bolster or contradict such testimony, depending on the context of the case.
Ultimately, dashcam videos can be essential for proving or disproving liability or other important issues in a personal injury case. Therefore, it is vital to consult an attorney to obtain and ensure the authenticity and reliability of dashcam videos.
Challenges and Limitations of Dashcam Footage
Although dashcam video can be extremely valuable in a court case, it is not necessarily perfect evidence. There are important challenges and limitations to the use of dashcam footage as evidence, including:
- Authenticity: Evidence that the video was edited or otherwise manipulated can be used to question the reliability of the dashcam video.
- Chain of custody: Evidence showing that the video fell into the wrong hands can also be used to question the reliability of the dashcam video.
- Accuracy: Evidence showing that the video resolution is poor or that an object was obstructing the camera’s view can be used to question the accuracy of the dashcam video.
- Hearsay: Lawyers must show that the dashcam video does not qualify as inadmissible hearsay or that an exception to the hearsay rule is applicable.
- Privacy: Video that captures individuals who are not directly involved may raise a concern for a citizen’s privacy. Courts are empowered to protect someone’s privacy by redacting part of the video or blocking the introduction of dashcam evidence in court.
Your Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you want to turn dashcam evidence into a legal advantage for your case, you need the advice and guidance of an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer.