a view from a beach city in Los Angeles in traffic as a dash cam POV

Lawyer analyzes 12 dash cam videos

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

In recent years, dash cams have transitioned from a novelty to a necessity for many drivers. These compact devices, mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle, have proven to be much more than just tools for personal use. At J&Y Law Firm, we have seen firsthand how dash cams can play a pivotal role in providing crucial evidence in legal scenarios. Our blog, “Lawyer analyzes 12 dash cam videos,” will feature 12 YouTube videos of real dash cam videos and thoughts about those videos by a real California attorney.

This blog dives into various scenarios where having a dash cam turned out to be pivotal in understanding what really happened in each case. We discuss cases ranging from near misses on the road to serious collisions, where dashcam footage provided irrefutable evidence that helped in legal proceedings and insurance claims.

Moreover, this blog isn’t just about the legal and safety implications of dash cams; it’s also a testament to their role in promoting responsible driving. By shedding light on the diverse ways dash cams have saved lives, we aim to encourage more drivers to consider equipping their vehicles with these devices. Join us as we explore 12 scenarios where dash cams have become essential tools for modern driving, enhancing safety, accountability, and peace of mind.

Brief dash cam statistics

  • The global dashboard camera market was worth $2,000,000,000 in 2021
  • It is estimated that 1 in 6 cars have dash cams installed in the USA
  • Having front and rear facing dash cams can potentially lower car insurance costs
  • The number of cars with dash cams is projected to quadruple in the next 10 years
  • Europe currently has the largest market for dash cams

Is it good enough to just have my car’s existing cameras?

In California, the evidence you can provide following a car accident can significantly influence the outcome of any legal proceedings or insurance negotiations. Having video of a car accident is important so you can prove fault in the accident. You may think that having no dash cam is not a big concern because your car may already have pre-installed cameras all around the vehicle (to assist with parking, etc.), however, you should read on to learn why this isn’t always the case. Here is a breakdown of how your car’s existing cameras might compare to a dedicated dash cam after a car accident in California:

Your Car’s Existing Cameras

  1. Retrievability of Footage: Accessing footage from some vehicle’s built-in cameras is impossible. However, on most car models it is possible, but usually far more complicated than retrieving files from a dash cam, especially when you consider that the car may be destroyed after an accident. It might require assistance from the vehicle manufacturer or a specialist to retrieve this footage and there could be legal or privacy implications in accessing and sharing this data. It is much easier to have a dash cam with a removable SD card or USB port to retrieve footage from.
  2. Coverage and Quality: Many modern vehicles come equipped with various cameras, including rearview, side-view, and sometimes front-facing cameras primarily designed for parking assistance or lane-keeping. These cameras may not always offer the same field of view, resolution, or quality as a dedicated dash cam, potentially limiting their effectiveness in capturing the full context of an accident.
  3. Continuous Recording: Built-in cameras typically do not record continuously or save footage for extended periods. They’re activated by specific actions, like reversing or engaging advanced driver-assistance systems, and may not automatically save footage unless the vehicle is equipped with a feature specifically designed to do so following a collision. Footage can also be quickly overwritten or erased due to storage limitations or certain camera settings.

Dedicated Dash Cam

  1. Designed for Accident Documentation: Dash cams are specifically designed to record continuously while you are driving, ensuring that they capture the moments leading up to, during, and after an accident. They typically overwrite old footage with new recordings unless saved due to an incident, which many dash cams can automatically detect via built-in G-sensors.
  2. Evidence Quality: High-quality dash cams provide clear video evidence, often in high definition or even 4K resolution, which can be crucial for identifying license plates, street signs, and other details relevant to an accident investigation or insurance claim.
  3. Ease of Use: Accessing and sharing dash cam footage is generally straightforward, as these devices use standard SD memory cards and USB interfaces. This accessibility can be vital in promptly providing evidence to law enforcement or insurance companies.

In California, recording in public is generally permissible under the expectation of no privacy. However, it’s important to ensure that your use of cameras complies with local laws regarding privacy and electronic surveillance. For example, recording audio inside the vehicle may require consent from passengers due to California’s two-party consent law for audio recordings.

While your car’s existing cameras can provide some level of documentation in the event of an accident, a dedicated dash cam is more reliable and effective for this purpose. Dash cams are specifically designed to capture a comprehensive view of the road, provide high-quality video evidence, and store footage in a way that’s easily retrievable and shareable. If you are concerned about having the best possible evidence in case of an accident, investing in a high-quality dash cam is a wise decision.

12 dash cam videos

Case #1 – Key Scratched Uber

Girl lies, dashcam saves me

An Uber driver picked up an intoxicated woman to take her home after a night of drinking. While driving towards her home the driver misses a turn and begins to turn around, which prompts the woman to exit the Uber vehicle, declaring, “it’s alright,”. The driver rolls down his window as the woman exits the vehicle to ask her if she is sure that she is alright before she again assured him she was fine. An instant later the woman loses her balance and falls onto the vehicle while holding her car keys, resulting in several scratches on and near the vehicle’s gas cap. The driver exits the driver’s side door and upon inspection of the damage, the woman begins to deny responsibility. She later tries to change the subject by accusing the driver of not taking her to the correct destination, despite her willingly leaving the vehicle immediately after it made a wrong turn. When the driver tells her that the incident was being recorded on his dash cam she walks off down the road. Uber later refuses to pay for the repairs to his vehicle after reporting the incident to them.

This case would not typically be the kind of case that my firm, J&Y Law Firm, would take, because no one was injured and the only damage that happened to the car was some small scratches that might be worth a few thousand dollars to repair at the very most. Perhaps Uber or the passenger could be sued to recover the costs of the repairs to the vehicle, but it might not be worth it. Some car insurance policies may cover this kind of damage as well. Unfortunately, drunk people do annoying things when they drink, and rideshare drivers are often in danger when they pick them up for a ride. In this case, considering Uber’s denial of his request to reimburse his repair costs, an attorney may be able to draft a demand letter to the company to try to force the company to act. Fortunately this case clearly proves that the damage to the car was caused by the woman’s fall with car keys.

Case #2 – Insurance Scammer

A truck driver is driving in a big rig along a highway when suddenly a black pickup truck races in front of him and slams on the brakes, forcing the truck to slam into the back of the pickup. This proceeds a couple more times before both vehicles pull over on the side of the road. The driver of the black pickup exits his vehicle and aggressively rushes toward the trailer as the trucker rolls down his window to inform the yelling man that everything is being recorded on his dash cam.

This case shows how scary a “my word against yours” case can be when you are certain that the other party is a scammer acting with ill intent. Dash cam footage can quickly expose a scammer for what he is, as this video so comically points out. This video also shows the desperation that some people will go to, risking life and limb for money and putting everyone else’s safety at risk.

Case #3 – Sideswiped In New Jersey

A blue Acura is driving along a New Jersey highway when it suddenly drifts into an adjacent lane, sideswiping a white sedan before quickly veering in the opposite direction and smacking into the center divider, bouncing off and hitting the guard rail on the opposite site of the highway as debris falls all over the road. The driver who is recording the vehicle drives through the debris path and pulls over on the side of the road where the two vehicles involved in the crash have come to a stop.

This video really highlights how things can go from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye while you are driving. There was no time for the white car to react before being sideswiped by the Acura. There was also the possibility that the driver of the Acura was driving intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, so if that were true, this kind of case would be a probable slam dunk if it went to court.

Case #4 – Aston Martin keyed by man with baby stroller

Dash cam: Man with pram caught keying Aston Martin

A man pretending to be out for some exercise with a baby carriage was caught on dash cam video keying an Aston Martin vehicle while using the stroller for visual cover. Repairs for the pricey vehicle were over $9,000. This is a clear cut case where a lawsuit would be needed to get your repair money back from the responsible party.

Case #5 – Mom’s Tesla keyed by woman

Woman keys Tesla in act of vandalism caught on camera

A woman and her son noticed deep scratch marks on their 2019 Tesla Model 3 after a doctor’s appointment. Their driver’s side camera caught the woman responsible for the act. When confronted the woman denied that she was the one on video keying the car. Police are currently investigating. Because this will cost over $3,000 to fix, a small claims lawsuit would be required to recoup the money for repairs in this situation.

Case #6 – Parking lot car vandalism by ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend

Dash Cam captures parking lot vandalism by exgirlfriends boyfriend

A man noticed his car had been damaged about 5 times while he parked it at work, so he set up a dash cam to catch his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend damaging his car in a jealous rage. The new boyfriend hits the cat repeatedly with a shopping cart, leaving a large dent in his passenger side rear door panel. This sort of behavior is definitely grounds for a lawsuit and this kind of video evidence is the kind of slam dunk you need to win a case with confidence.

Case #7 – Tailgater hits a ladder in the road

Tailgater climbs the ladder of success

A white sedan was tailgating behind a Jeep on a highway when suddenly the driver of the Jeep noticed a 6 foot ladder fall off of a pickup truck approximately 100 feet in front of him. The Jeep slowed down and put on its hazard lights and other vehicles began to quickly swerve to avoid the ladder in the road, but after the Jeep swerved, the tailgating white sedan did not have time to react and struck the ladder, causing the ladder to become stuck under the vehicle and slowing it down to a stop on the busy highway.

This video really highlights the importance of patience when driving, especially in California. Making a bad decision due to impatience can damage your car, or damage your body, so you need to always control the urge to rush and drive recklessly.

Case #8 – Driver goes unconscious while driving

Crash caught on dashcam.

A man driving in a sedan suddenly loses consciousness before veering off the road into a field where he continues to drive for several more moments. This situation appears to be a medical crisis and not the result of a defective vehicle or an injury, so this would not make a great personal injury case unless it was someone else’s fault that his life was almost put in great danger.

Case #9 – Trucker crashes trying to remove a sweater

Dashcam captures trucker crash while trying to remove sweater while driving

A truck driver and his partner were driving an 18-wheeler down a highway when the driver decided to take off his sweater while driving. At some point the driver takes both hands off the steering wheel to try to pull the sweater over his head, but the sweater gets stuck on the man’s head while the truck drifts to the opposite side of the road, veering into the trees at the side of the road. Both men are violently jostled around inside the vehicle while the truck drives through many trees. It appears as though both men were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

Case #10 – Trucker leaves seat, causing crash

Trucker leaves seat while moving causing him to crash

A trucker in South Africa with some kind of large bump or growth on his head was driving down a highway at full speed when he decided to leave the wheel unoccupied to grab something from the sleeper area of the truck. While he is away from the wheel, the truck predictably drifts off the road into a field where he manages to stop the vehicle after being jostled.

Case #11 – Car crashes into Oklahoma State Trooper during traffic stop

An Oklahoma State Trooper has a white SUV pulled over when suddenly a black SUV plows into the white SUV at 90 mph, knocking into the trooper and sending the black SUV tumbling down the roadway. All 3 people involved in the accident are expected to be okay, however, depending on the reasons for the crash, the driver of the black SUV could be liable for damages like medical bills or physical therapy.

Case #12 – Dash cam catches shooting on Denver street

Cars driving down an average looking Denver, Colorado street suddenly swerve in all directions to avoid gunshots as they ring out. It is unclear where the gunshots are coming from, but it would be very easy for a pedestrian or other motorist to be killed or injured either by direct gunfire or fleeing motorists. If you could find out who the individual was that shot the weapon, this absolutely could be a lawsuit.

Call a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Today

As we conclude our journey through 12 different dash cam videos, it becomes clear how invaluable these devices can be in protecting ourselves and our loved ones on the road. It’s so easy for the other party to lie and accuse you of being responsible for an accident – until they see the camera. Not only do dash cams serve as impartial witnesses in the event of an accident, but they also offer peace of mind in knowing that, should the unexpected occur, we have the evidence needed to support our version of events.

However, even with the best preparations, accidents can happen, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, it’s crucial to have the right legal representation to navigate the complexities of insurance claims and potential lawsuits. That’s where J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, comes in. With a team of experienced attorneys specializing in personal injury and car accident cases, J&Y Law Firm is committed to advocating for your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Remember, J&Y Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your case, and there is no fee unless you win your case. This means you have absolutely nothing to lose by calling them at (323) 202-2305 to get the support and guidance you need during such a challenging time. Let the expertise of J&Y Law Firm work for you, ensuring that your rights are protected and your recovery is the top priority.

author photo
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.