dash cam footage

Is Dash Cam Footage Admissible in Court?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Yes, dash cam footage can be admissible in court in California, but you might not always want it to come into court. You might be surprised by some of the information that a dashboard camera can capture. The other side could use some of that data against you.

This blog will address the question of whether dash cam footage is admissible in court. A Los Angeles car accident attorney could help you seek compensation from the negligent party who caused an accident that injured you.

When Dashboard Cameras Are Legal in California

As long as you comply with the regulations that require you to notify passengers and place the dash cam in the correct location, it is legal to use dash cams in California. If installed and used properly, the evidence that a dashboard camera captures is no different from a video doorbell, red-light camera, or security camera, from an evidentiary standpoint.

Your attorney will need to follow the state rules of evidence to get the dash cam footage admitted at court in your trial.

What a Dash Cam Records

Most people think that dashboard cameras only record video of what the driver sees as they go down the road. In reality, a dashboard camera can record much more than only video. Different dash cam brands and models might have different features, including recording:

  • Audio of sounds or conversations outside of the vehicle.
  • Audio of sounds or conversations inside the vehicle.
  • Whether the driver braked.
  • How the driver steered.
  • How fast the car traveled.
  • The direction the car traveled.
  • Video of inside the vehicle, not just outside.

Any of those issues might come back to haunt you in a personal injury claim against the other driver.

Also, a dash cam might only record when the driver manually enables the dash cam, or it might record whenever the car is on. A person who borrows the car might not realize they could be recorded while they are in the vehicle.

Even if you do not own a dash cam or use one in your car, a driver of another vehicle might use a dash cam and try to use it against you after a collision.

Why Dash Cam Footage Matters in Court

Before you can get the court to hold the at-fault driver accountable for your injuries and other losses, you will need to prove that they are legally liable for the collision that injured you. In car accident cases, liability is usually based on negligence. In other words, the at-fault driver was careless or made a human error that caused the accident in which you got injured.

Dash cam footage might show, for example, that the accident happened because the other driver did not stop at a stop sign. That driver could be responsible for paying your losses if your dash cam footage proves that they ran the stop sign. Unfortunately, your dash cam might also have recorded your speed. If you were speeding at the time of the crash, the other driver might argue that you were also at fault because speeding is negligent behavior.

If you got wounded in a car crash that was not your fault, a Los Angeles car accident attorney could help you hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses. Contact our office for help with your case, we offer a free consultation.

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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.