camera footage

Can My Car Accident Lawyer Get Camera Footage of My Crash?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Between personal cell phones, security, and home surveillance cameras, it seems just about everything these days is caught on video. When it comes to proving negligence and seeking compensation following a California car accident, being caught on tape can be a good thing.

If you’re involved in a car crash and notice video cameras near the scene of the incident, you might wonder, “Can my car accident lawyer get camera footage of my crash?” The answer is, generally yes. 

California personal injury attorneys skilled in car crash cases are increasingly aware of video footage’s value to winning their case. Here’s what you need to know about video footage and your car accident:

Types of Video Cameras That May Have Caught Your Crash on Tape

It’s not uncommon to see bystanders whipping out their cell phones to record the aftermath of a car crash. Recordings by witnesses at the scene are helpful, but many other types of video cameras may catch your accident or events contributing to your accident on video:

Red-light Cameras: Many intersections, particularly the busiest, have cameras installed to monitor drivers who fail to stop at red lights. 

Traffic Cameras: Sometimes, local government or private agencies set up traffic cameras to assess traffic flow, urban development, and high accident rates. Traffic cameras may also be used to report about community interests and weather conditions. 

Surveillance cameras: Business owners often install security surveillance cameras to film happenings at or near their business location.  If a DUI driver hits you, video cameras at establishments the driver visited prior to the accident may go a long way to proving impairment and negligence of the DUI driver. 

Doorbell Security Cameras: Private homeowners are increasingly concerned about their security. Porch-front thefts have led many to install cameras to record activity outside the home, from the street to the doorway. 

Dash Cameras: California is one of several states that allow dash cameras in personal vehicles. Perhaps you, the at-fault driver, or other cars in the vicinity of the scene have dashcam footage of the accident?  Dashcam footage is particularly useful because it captures exterior and interior sounds and video, establishing a broader picture of events leading up to and causing the crash. 

Cameras: Unbiased Observers

A great benefit to video cameras is that incidents are recorded in real-time as events unfold. 

Beware, however. 

Your conduct will be displayed on camera as well as that of other involved parties. If you are in a car accident, you must maintain your composure, check yourself and others for injuries, and call for emergency services if needed. 

Do not do or say anything that could be construed as accepting responsibility for the accident or that might discredit you in a personal injury lawsuit.

How Can Video Camera Footage Help Your Car Accident Lawsuit?

Videos can serve as valuable evidence in insurance settlement negotiations and personal injury lawsuits. In addition to corroborating your version of events, the video can dispel any untruths or myths the opposing party may suggest about the incident.

Videos useful to your personal injury attorney may show:

  • Events leading up to the crash, i.e. distractions, drug, and alcohol use
  • Behaviors of drivers and passengers
  • Road conditions and obstructions
  • Weather conditions and visibility 
  • The point of impact
  • Injuries sustained from the accident

Is Video Evidence Admissible in California Courts?

If you become aware of videos that could affect your case’s outcome, alert your attorney immediately. 

Often, establishments erase or record over previously filmed video. Your attorney can send an immediate request letter to the government or private entities requesting the video be preserved and provided for use in your case. 

For video evidence to be admissible in court, it must be

  • Relevant 
  • Authentic 
  • Preserved in its original, unedited format 

Video evidence will be allowed if it either supports or refutes any at-issue point in a case. An experienced attorney will determine the viability of video evidence, consider the merits of introducing the video to your case, and anticipate opposing counsel’s objections.

A California Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Experienced California personal injury attorneys understand the time-sensitive nature of recovering video evidence and preserving it for use in settlement and litigation proceedings. 

When you experience a car accident, it’s normal to be confused and disoriented. The stress that accompanies property damage and personal injury is overwhelming, and details about the accident can easily be confused.

After seeking medical attention for your injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in car wreck cases. 

While you focus on healing and recovery, your attorney will gather evidence to substantiate the other party’s negligence and support your compensation claim.

Contact our office today to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.