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Tell Your Houston Car Crash Attorney About Dash Cam Footage

Person driving with dashcam, may need to tell their Houston car accident attorney about accident-related footage

Your Houston car crash attorney can help you determine whether to use dash cam footage as evidence in your case.

After an accident, it’s important to tell your Houston car crash attorney all the details of your accident. They are there to help you build a strong case against the at-fault driver so you can get compensation for your damages and injuries. One thing that you should tell your attorney is whether there’s any dash camera footage available of the accident. Dash cams are frequently used as evidence in car accident cases, but there are some potential consequences of using it for your case. Your attorney can help you decide what to do with the dash cam footage to prevent negative outcomes for your case. Read on to learn more about using dash cam footage as evidence for a car accident claim.

Why Tell Your Houston Car Crash Attorney About Dash Cam Footage of Your Accident?

Any time you have dash camera footage of a car accident or suspect that someone else does, you need to tell your Houston car crash attorney. This can have a huge effect on your case, so it’s important that your lawyer is in-the-know about this detail.

Dash Cam Footage May Help Your Case

One reason to tell your Houston traffic accident lawyer about dash cam footage is that it might help your case. Dash cam footage of an accident can provide evidence for many things, including:

  • Weather and road conditions
  • Road obstructions
  • Traffic signals
  • Nearby cars
  • Nearby pedestrians and cyclists
  • Approximate speed of the cars
  • GPS coordinates (on some models)

All this can be helpful for establishing fault. Car accident cases require the victim to provide evidence of several things, including the other driver’s negligence. This can be a difficult process for any accident. However, if you or someone else has dash camera footage of the accident, then it can often serve as evidence for your claim. Therefore, it’s important to tell your lawyer about any footage that might exist that could provide proof for your case.

The Footage Might Hurt Your Case

Of course, this also means that any footage that exists might also hurt your case, too. This is also important for your Houston car crash attorney to know so they can take steps to mitigate negative issues with your case stemming from the dash cam footage. For instance, dash cam footage is commonly used as evidence of a victim’s contributory negligence. In Texas, this is important because we are a modified comparative negligence state. This basically means that any percentage of fault you share reduces how much compensation you receive for the accident and if you’re more than 50% to blame, you can’t get any compensation.

Often, we see the other driver’s insurance company using dash camera footage against the victim of an accident by using it to say that they are partially at fault. One example would be if your dash camera shows a passenger warning you about an erratic driver up ahead, yet you don’t take steps to avoid the driver. This may count as contributory negligence in your case because you didn’t slow down or take other evasive action. 

Important Information Your Houston Car Crash Attorney Needs About Dash Cam Footage

Telling your Houston car crash attorney about any dash cam footage is the first step for your accident. Usually, you and your attorney will review the footage together or you will send it over to your attorney to view on their own. There are several things that your lawyer might need to assess about the footage. 

Your Houston Car Crash Attorney May Assess Whether the Footage is Legal

One thing that your Houston auto accident attorney will do is make sure that the footage is legal. If it’s not, it’s often not admissible in court. Often, this also means that the insurance company won’t accept it for an accident claim, either. 

There are many laws that apply to dash cameras. It’s essential to follow these laws to be able to use the camera footage after an accident. Generally, any type of evidence that is obtained illegally or breaks the law will not be usable. Therefore, your attorney will review the footage to make sure it does follow applicable laws. 

For instance, one common issue is consent. Texas is a one party consent state, which means only one person needs to be aware of and consent to video and audio recordings. Usually this one person is the driver of the car. However, if the footage captures audio of a conversation between two passengers that the driver isn’t involved in, this might be a gray area, legally speaking. Any questions about legality can end up with the footage getting thrown out for your case. 

Another example would be if you have a dash camera that obstructs your view of the road. This might result not only in a violation for you, but might also count as evidence that is illegally obtained and therefore not usable for your case.

Your Houston Car Crash Attorney Will Look for Evidence In the Footage

As we mentioned earlier, dash camera footage can be a wealth of information for your case. Therefore, your Houston car crash attorney will likely review the footage to see if there’s evidence on the camera that might affect your case. Share dash cam footage with your attorney even if you think it won’t be helpful, as you never know what might be useful for your case. For instance, even if your front-facing dash camera didn’t capture the impact from a rear end accident, it might show you stopping suddenly for a legitimate reason like a child running out in front of your car. Therefore, any footage may be helpful for your lawyer and your case. 

Show Your Houston Auto Accident Attorney the Footage Before You Share it With Anyone Else

If possible, it’s best not to share your dash cam footage with anyone until after your attorney has seen it. This can help protect you in case the footage has something on it that might harm your case. Sharing the footage with friends, on social media, or even with your own insurance company could come back to bite you. So, show your Houston car crash attorney first so you know how to proceed with the footage. 

Of course, if police are called for your accident, they might be able to seize the dash cam footage through a warrant. If this happens, then naturally they may see it for their police report before you can show it to your lawyer. 

Don’t Alter the Footage of the Accident From Your Dash Camera

Evidence tampering is a serious crime, which means you’ll need to hold onto the dash camera footage of your accident and also avoid altering it in any way. This includes cutting out parts of the footage that might show you or your driving in a bad light. At the very least, this often means you can’t use the footage for your case. However, in other cases, you might even face legal issues for tampering with evidence of a car accident. Ask your Houston car crash attorney how to move forward and store the footage to avoid these issues.

Our Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office Fight for You After a Car Accident

After a car accident, our team at DeSimone Law Office can provide you with experienced legal services. Our personal injury lawyers have helped countless car accident victims settle their cases and get compensation for their damages and injuries. We are here to fight for your case in and out of court and advocate for you as a car accident victim. Get in touch now to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our seasoned attorneys.

This entry was posted in Auto Accident Lawsuit, Car Accidents, Houston Auto Accident Attorney, Traffic Accidents. Bookmark the permalink.
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