While most of us don’t have dashboard cameras – “dash cams” for short – in our cars, we’ve certainly all seen dash cam footage on the news. We often see dash cams used in law enforcement situations, where dash cams are used by police departments to gather evidence regarding roadside stops and monitor officer conduct. We’ve also seen dash cams in private vehicles that collect some astonishing footage, such as when a Russian motorist’s dash cam caught footage of a spectacular meteor lighting up the sky. In fact, Russian motorists capturing dash cam meteor footage is turning into a mini-genre unto itself, with whole compilations of such events available on Youtube.
Why are Dash Cams So Popular All of a Sudden?
The proliferation of Russian dash cam videos on Youtube suggests two things: 1) there are a lot of meteors appearing over Russia, or 2) there are a lot of dash cams in Russia. The latter is the case, and the reason that so many Russian people have dash cams in their cars is apparently due to the country’s lax police response to car collisions, primarily leaving it to private motorists to document collisions for the purpose of litigating a car accident claim.
While American law enforcement organizations are willing and able to respond to vehicular collisions, police can’t recreate the accident as it happened. The vehicles and eyewitnesses will provide evidence, but a dash cam can provide crystal clear documentation of the accident as it happened. Which raises a number of questions about their potential use in a car accident claim.
How Can a Dash Cam Be Useful in Bringing a Car Accident Claim?
A dash cam cannot necessarily provide a complete view of everything that occurs in a car accident, but it can provide visual evidence that can support a car accident claim. Evidence that a dash cam can capture which can be helpful in bringing a car accident claim includes:
- Aggressive driving
- Unlawful driving, including missed stop signs and red lights
- Distracted driving (another driver texting or looking at a phone)
- Hit-and-Runs (including license plate numbers)
- Hostile drivers confronting you after an accident
Are Private Dash Cams Legal In Missouri?
Yes, they are. No federal laws outlaw the use of dash cams, and there are no Missouri laws specifically outlawing the use of dash cams.
Will My Insurance Company Accept Footage From My Dash Cam?
Insurance companies are still warming up to the use of dash cams in settling and paying out insurance claims, but there is no reason that they should not accept video evidence documenting how an accident occurred. In the UK, some insurers actually offer discounts to drivers who install dash cams, but this has yet to catch on in the United States.
Is Dash Cam Footage Admissible in Court When Bringing a Car Accident Claim?
Video footage is admissible in court if the party wishing to use the evidence can authenticate that the video accurately portrays the events it appears to document, and if the judge finds that the footage is relevant to the claims in the lawsuit. Thus, dash cam footage is potentially admissible in court as would any video footage.
At The Hershewe Law Firm, P.C., based in Joplin, Missouri, our car accident attorneys help injured motorists get the compensation they deserve when they have been injured by another. Call us now for a free consultation at 417-999-9999.