Can Video Camera Footage Prove Negligence in an Accident Claim?
To win a car accident claim, the first thing you must do is prove someone else caused the collision. Because the at-fault driver likely won’t want to admit blame, individual statements may not be enough to swing a claim in your favor. Physical evidence is much more convincing.
Video footage may be the strongest form of evidence aside from the other driver giving a signed statement declaring they were completely at fault. While our attorneys work with skilled accident reconstructionists who use pictures from the crash scene and of vehicle damage to build a timeline of what happened, the defense may attack the reliability of these models.
Video camera footage, on the other hand, shows everyone exactly what happened and typically even comes with timestamps. Video cameras, unlike people, don’t make mistakes or errors in judgment. They show what happens, as it happens. If your accident may have been caught by a camera, our attorneys can help you obtain the footage.
Finding Video Evidence for Your Accident Claim
Even if you didn’t catch the crash on video, someone else’s camera may have. Our attorneys can visit the crash scene in search of lenses that might have seen what happened. You may be able to use footage from:
- Traffic or red light cameras
- Dashboard cameras
- GoPros (typically used by motorcyclists)
- Bystanders’ cell phones
- Surveillance cameras
- CCTV systems
- Doorbell or home security cameras
- Law enforcement “body cams” or vehicle cameras
- Official photos or videos made by law enforcement
- In-cab recordings in a commercial vehicle
The other party may even have caught the accident on video if they had a recording device going at the time of the crash. While they’re unlikely to hand it over just because you ask, our attorneys can take appropriate steps to secure video evidence from any commercial or private party.
Act Fast to Preserve Video Evidence
Cameras that are recording 24/7, especially if they are not connected to a server that stores data, may automatically erase old footage. While businesses are likely to preserve recordings for a month or more, traffic cameras may overwrite footage in just 24 hours. Therefore, it’s imperative to contact a lawyer as soon as you can after an accident.
We can do the work of procuring and saving the footage as soon as you tell us what happened. However, if you wait to reach out, there may be nothing we can do to help. Our team cannot restore deleted footage—so be proactive to ensure this valuable evidence is not lost.
Can Video Camera Footage Be Used Against Me?
If you weren’t at fault in an accident and are honest in your claim, no amount of video footage should be able to sway a jury to the defense’s side. However, sometimes more than one driver contributes to an accident. Footage that shows the one party’s negligence may well pick up on mistakes made by the other.
Thanks to California’s pure comparative negligence laws, you can still recover damages even if the other party was 99% at fault in an accident. However, the amount of your settlement will be reduced—you’ll only receive a proportion equal to the percentage of fault that rests with the other party.
Footage Not Related to the Accident
Another type of video you may have to worry about is footage that could undermine your claim for damages. For example, if you tell the other party’s insurer you sprained your wrist and will miss a week’s worth of wages because you need to keep it immobilized and then your friend posts a Facebook video of you playing frisbee, an insurance adjuster would be in the right to question your claim.
Insurers may even send investigators armed with cameras to watch you. If they capture pictures or videos of you doing something that might contradict your reported injuries, it can be used against you. The best way to avoid this is by following your doctor’s instructions to the letter, even if they mean missing out on fun plans you scheduled before the wreck. In the long run, unpaid medical bills can have a much larger effect on your life than a missed movie night.
Should I Worry About Fake Video “Evidence” Being Used Against Me?
You may have heard people worrying about the rise of “deepfake” videos, but you likely won’t have to worry about this in your accident claim. Deepfakes are videos made by AI, using hundreds of images of an individual to map their face and then mapping their features onto existing footage of another event. Currently, deepfakes are resource-heavy, requiring not just processing power, but also time. Additionally, fake videos are detectable through visual cues or specialized software. In short, right now, a deepfake showing up in your car accident claim is highly unlikely. You don’t need to be concerned about one being used against you.
Car Accident Attorneys Who Care
Finding all available evidence is the best way to win your car accident claim, and that process starts when you contact a lawyer. You shouldn’t have to think about putting together a claim on top of the medical and other challenges caused by serious injuries. Let our team handle the hard work, so you can focus on your health.
Since our firm was founded in 2004, we’ve helped hundreds of clients recover compensation after being injured by negligent individuals. Our passion is serving people like you. Reach out to us as soon as you can if you’ve been involved in a car accident so we can start gathering evidence before it disappears.
The Law Office of Marshall Silberberg serves Los Angeles and Orange County. Call us at (949) 565-4281 for a free consultation.