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Dash Cam Footage: Evidence in LI Car Accident Lawsuits

Dash Cams and Their Growing Popularity on Long Island

Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, are increasingly becoming a staple in vehicles across Long Island. These small, onboard cameras continuously record the view through a vehicle’s front windscreen and, in some cases, the rear or other windows. The primary function of these devices is to capture real-time video footage that can be invaluable in various scenarios, especially in documenting car accidents.

The trend towards mounting dash cams in personal vehicles is partly driven by the desire for greater security and accountability while driving. As traffic intensifies, the likelihood of vehicular accidents and disputes also rises. Dash cams offer an objective eyewitness perspective that can be crucial in resolving such disputes fairly. Additionally, the growing affordability and technological advancements in dashcams make them accessible to a wider audience, encouraging more drivers to adopt this technology for peace of mind.

How Dash Cams Can Impact Car Accident Claims

Utilization of Footage in Accident Investigations

Dash cam footage is swiftly becoming a key piece of evidence in car accident investigations. This footage can clearly show the sequence of events leading up to an accident, providing irrefutable facts that can help establish the circumstances of the incident. For instance, a dash cam may record critical moments, such as another vehicle running a red light or an abrupt lane change, offering clear proof of fault.

On Long Island, where congested roads are the norm, having video means drivers involved in an accident can present their case backed by concrete evidence, potentially expediting claims processes with insurance companies and in court proceedings. These videos help reduce the reliance on often unreliable and conflicting eyewitness accounts or subjective interpretations of an accident scene.

Examples of Captured Events

Consider the scenario where a dash cam captures a vehicle unexpectedly exiting a side street, colliding with a car that had the right of way. Not only does the footage document the incident, but it also captures the road conditions, weather visibility, and traffic signals at the time of the accident. Such details are instrumental in piecing together the factual context of the crash.

Another common example could involve a rear-end collision where the lead vehicle claims that the following driver was following too closely, while the following driver accuses the lead of a sudden stop. Dash cam footage can clarify these moments with precision, showing the distances and actions of both drivers before the impact, whether the lead vehicle had to work brake lights, etc. This sort of evidence can be used in court to help determine liability.

Legal Admissibility of Dash Cam Footage

For dash cam footage to be admissible in New York courts, including those on Long Island, it must meet specific criteria. Primarily, the footage must be relevant to the case, and its authenticity must be verifiable. This means that the video should be clearly linked to the incident in question without any alterations or tampering.

Moreover, privacy considerations need to be addressed. On Long Island, recording in public places is generally permissible under the law; however, recording conversations without the parties’ consent can violate New York Penal Law § 250.00, et seq., which deals with eavesdropping. Therefore, if a dash cam records audio inside a vehicle, parties within must be aware and consent to be recorded.

Ensuring the legality of how dash cam footage is obtained and used is paramount. Drivers who use dash cams should know these legal stipulations to ensure their footage can serve as valid evidence in legal proceedings. In practice, this means setting up dash cams in a way that respects legal boundaries, thus safeguarding the admissibility of the footage in any subsequent legal disputes or insurance claims. Our attorneys understand the proper use of dashcam footage within the framework of New York law.

Benefits of Having Dash Cam Footage in Accident Claims

Dash cam footage can significantly bolster a legal or insurance claim following a car accident by providing direct evidence of the events. In the context of Long Island’s congested roads, where claims of sudden stops, illegal turns, or improper lane changes are common, video proof can directly support or refute such claims. For insurance companies, dashcam footage simplifies the process of determining liability, potentially leading to quicker claim resolutions and appropriate compensation.

Furthermore, in cases where the fault might be disputed or shared between parties, New York’s comparative fault system comes into play. Here, dash cam footage can be pivotal in accurately determining the percentage of fault attributable to each driver. This can directly influence the amount of damages recovered by a plaintiff under New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 1411, which governs the calculation of damages in negligence cases where multiple parties are at fault.

Challenges and Technical Considerations with Dash Cam Footage

While dash cams offer numerous benefits, they also come with their set of challenges. One significant concern is the reliability and quality of the footage. In some instances, low-quality video may fail to capture crucial details like license plate numbers or street signs, which are essential for verifying the location and identifying vehicles involved in an accident. Additionally, the angle of the camera, lighting conditions, and speed of the vehicle can all affect the usability of the recorded footage in a legal setting. Some work well at night, others do not. Look at the quality of the dash cam you are using and make sure that, if you ever need the footage, it will give you what you need.

Even with high-quality equipment, technical failures also pose a risk. Dash cams rely on continuous power supply and functioning memory cards. If a dash cam is improperly installed or if the memory card is full at the time of an accident, it may not record the critical moments needed for a claim. Regular maintenance and checks are essential to ensure that dash cams are operating correctly when most needed.

Even non-technical issues can present problems. For example, how clean is your windshield? Do you have an EZ Pass that is blocking the view of the camera? Do you have something else on the dashboard obscuring the lens? The device can only record what it can see, and if its view is blocked, you will record a blocked view.

Contact the Law Office of Frank J. Cassisi, P.C. if You’ve Been in a Car Accident on Long Island

If you’re a driver on Long Island and have been involved in a car accident, dash cam footage can be an invaluable asset in your case. Whether you are seeking to file a claim with your insurance company or are considering legal action, our law firm can help you use this footage to your best advantage. Our experience with personal injury and vehicle accident claims on Long Island ensures we can guide you through the complex process of securing fair compensation.

We understand the nuances of New York law and how it applies to real-world scenarios, including those involving dash cam footage. By analyzing the specifics of your accident and the available evidence, we can help you build a strong case. We are committed to advocating for your rights and achieving the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at (516) 294 5050 for a free consultation.

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