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Ask a Lawyer: Do dashboard cameras affect my claim?

Dear Harsh Law:

Do dashboard cameras affect my claim? When it is legal to include it as evidence?


Dear Potential Client:

While less popular in the United States than in many other countries, dashboard cameras, more commonly known as dashcams, are becoming increasingly popular in California – especially among commercial drivers and motorcyclists.

Dashcams are also sometimes used to collect evidence during car accidents, as they can show what happened in the moments leading up to a crash and determine which driver was negligent.

Dashcams are a great way to capture footage of your car accident. If you are involved in an accident, the dashcam can provide valuable evidence to help support your claim.


Are Dashboard Cameras Legal in California Personal Injury Cases?

Dashboard cameras have been legal in California since 2011. California Vehicle Code Section 26708 permits drivers to install “video event recorders” on their windshield. This allows drivers to record their driving, conversations with passengers, and encounters with the police. Until 2011, dashcams cameras were illegal under the premise that they obstructed or reduced the driver’s view.

However, there are restrictions on use – most notably their size must be less than 5 square inches and dashcams may not be in an area near the airbags.

It’s also important to note that dashboard cameras, like all other types of dash cams, can capture both audio and video within the car as well.


How can a dashboard camera affect my claim?

In some cases, dashboard cameras have proven to be extremely useful. The footage can help show the negligence of another driver and correctly assign the liability of the accident.

A dashboard camera will substantially limit the ability of another person to deny that they violated any traffic regulations or engaged in hazardous driving practices if they were responsible for the accident.

If you have video from a dashcam and disclose this to the insurance company, they will critically evaluate the footage on the camera, and it will heavily affect a settlement amount.

Once a dashcam is used as evidence in a claim, it can be used by both parties and can be used against you. If the other party believes that you were partly to blame for the crash and they know a dashboard camera was recording at the time, their car accident lawyer can subpoena the footage from the video.

Defendants that successfully use your own dashboard cameras against you can limit their liability and cause the insurance company to reduce or deny any damages you believed you were entitled to.

As a result, accident victims must always be aware of the entire advantages as well as the risks that using a dashboard camera may entail.


Harsh Law: Your Southern California Car Accident Legal Team

If you have been in a car accident while using a dashboard camera, or you believe the other party used a dashcam, our Southern California car accident lawyers at Harsh Law are eager to help.

We have the experience to determine liability and prove your claim, giving you the best chance of success with your case. Call us today at 909-793-6261 or fill out the contact form on this website.