What Are the Benefits of Having a Front Dash Camera in Case of a Truck Accident?
With each passing year, new cars receive more and more features, taking advantage of every technological advance and offering drivers more ways to stay safe and comfortable on the road. From intelligent airbag systems to lane assist, to new designs intended to keep passengers and drivers safe in the event of an accident, cars just seem to get safer and safer as time moves forward. Fortunately, you don’t need a brand new car to take advantage of one of the most common new additions to current models: a front-facing camera.
Dashcams offer drivers a small-form-factor witness in all their driving endeavors. These little cameras provide a layer of protection when dealing with the aftermath of accidents by providing a nearly fool-proof form of evidence for police, insurance companies, and a judge or jury.
Most Florida drivers would like to increase their chances of successfully recovering damages when they’re unfortunate enough to wind up in an accident, and a dashcam can help to do just that. Hiring a Tampa car accident lawyer can help, as well, especially when they are provided with compelling evidence in the form of video footage to help support your claim.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new car or are just hoping to increase your security on the road, be sure to look for the features and products that can passively record your surroundings, giving you an advantage against negligent drivers and truckers in the case of an accident.
Evidence in a Car or Truck Accident Case
When the dust settles after a car accident, there is often no way to objectively determine the events that preceded it without video evidence. Even with a hundred eyewitnesses and ample physical evidence at the scene, there is no guarantee that investigators will get the story right. Your ability to recover damages from negligent parties hinges on police and insurance figuring out how the accident occurred, and that can be a lot more difficult than it sounds.
Here are some of the most common types of evidence gathered in a car accident injury case as well as their flaws:
- Eye witness testimony — People’s memories and perceptions are flawed. There is no guarantee that even multiple witnesses share the same recollection of how an accident breaks down. Accidents often happen too quickly for humans to really perceive what happened until after the fact, and even that eventual understanding of events can be confused.
- Driver testimony — Even more common (and unreliable) than the testimony of a bystander is the testimony of a driver who was actually involved in the crash. Bad accidents can result in injuries that may cause unconsciousness or loss of memory, meaning even an honest retelling of events can be flawed. More concerning is that a negligent or careless driver may even blatantly lie about how an accident went down. Without hard evidence, cases like this may quickly devolve into an episode of “he said, she said.”
- Police reports — A police officer should write a report detailing testimony and anything they notice at the scene worth reporting. These reports are often the primary source of evidence for both insurance and courtrooms. Unfortunately, the police officer that writes the report for your accident is only human and can make mistakes and get information wrong just like anyone else, meaning holding the negligent accountable can be made more difficult with a police report reflecting inaccurate information.
- Physical evidence at the crash site — Firm evidence like skid marks, environmental damage or hazards, road conditions, and how vehicles are positioned and damaged is at least mildly more concrete than witness and driver testimony. In accidents with enough damages, special investigators may even be sent to the scene to document such pieces of evidence extensively. And though this is all good information, it can’t hold a candle to a direct recording of the events that lead to the accident. Further, a recording can affirm the reconstruction and help all of the pieces of physical evidence metaphorically fit together.
- Photos taken after the accident – One of the first things a driver should do after making sure there are no serious injuries and reporting the accident to 911 is to take photos of the surrounding area. The scene of an accident will not look the same in a few hours, so gathering firm evidence from the scene of the crash as soon as possible can help investigators paint the most accurate picture possible.
While all of these forms of evidence can help reconstruct an accident and pinpoint negligence, they tend to pale in comparison to a high-quality video recording of the full accident. Often, such evidence can be pulled from public or private security cameras, but you’d need to be lucky enough for your accident to be near a camera in the first place. This is where dash cams can make a difference.
Use Dash Cam Footage to Hold Responsible Parties Accountable
For less than $100, you can easily install a camera to passively record all the events in front or behind you in the car. Anything that happens on the road while your dashcam is pointed at it will be recorded and stored, meaning you can easily provide the camera to your legal representation at a later date. While you might normally get low-ball offers or delay tactics from insurance companies, by informing them that you have dashcam footage of exactly how an accident occurred, you can in some cases drastically speed up the process and avoid some of the trickier aspects of the negotiation process.
Note that dashcam evidence may not be admissible or valuable in all situations. This is especially common during night hours or when visibility is poor, even with a “night time” setting. However, even shaky or blurry dashcam footage can serve as a critical link between other pieces of evidence, establishing factors like the order of impacts and the exact time a collision occurred.
While a direct recording of negligent driving that leads to an accident will obviously be invaluable in most car accident cases, dashcam footage can be useful in a variety of other cases, as well. In hit-and-run cases, you’ll likely come away with clear license plate information, vehicle details, and potentially even physical details about the driver. In cases where a driver is negligent but doesn’t make physical contact (a phantom driver or miss-and-run case), dashcam footage can provide the evidence your insurance company may require to prove such an accident wasn’t your fault.
Third-party lawsuits against you are also somewhat common, and direct footage can help here, as well. Imagine a tractor-trailer loses a piece of cargo or hardware or shreds a tire, leading to a truck accident. Footage of such an event can help you prove that a trucking company may be partially at fault as well, opening up your options for recovering the maximum damages possible.
Consider Investing in a Dash Cam and Seek Legal Help for a Florida Truck Accident Case
An experienced lawyer with an understanding of new and upcoming technology will be able to utilize any footage of your accident to maximize your chances of successfully recovering your damages. If you don’t already own a dash camera and spend any small amount of time navigating Florida’s roads, now may be a great time to invest. They’re cheap, easy to install, and can mean the difference between the minimum and the maximum settlement.
At Darrigo & Diaz, we can potentially utilize any footage you provide of negligent drivers to boost your case. Depending on the footage, it could put you on a fast track to an adequate settlement, meaning you can spend less time dealing with the insurance companies and more time recovering from your injuries. Whether or not you have dashcam footage to back up your claims, call us at (813) 774-3341 or contact us online to schedule a free phone or in-person consultation today, and we can get you on the path to a full recovery.