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Dash Cams - Can They Assist in Road Accident Claims?

Road accidents happen quickly but can cause injuries that last a lifetime. If you’ve been seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.  

Proving Negligence In A Personal Injury Claim 

The difficulty in many personal injury claims is proving the other driver’s negligence. Liability for road accidents is typically determined by examining the evidence such as police reports, witness statements, damage to the vehicles, and photos of the scene.   

dash cams in road accident claims 

Insurance companies often argue over which driver was at fault, and to what degree. The insurance company may say you were partly or entirely to blame for the accident or the injuries you suffered. A finding of fault against you will have a significant negative impact on the compensation you receive in your personal injury lawsuit. And of course, the longer it takes to determine fault, the longer you must wait to receive compensation you need to get your life back on track.  

Dash Cams Can Provide Valuable Evidence   

Dash cam footage can make it easier to prove fault and liability for road accidents. Dashboard cameras or “dash cams” are small onboard cameras that continuously record the view through a vehicle's front windscreen (and sometimes rear windows or other windows). Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular due to their relatively low cost and the benefits they offer.  

Footage from a dashboard camera is another form of evidence that can be used to establish fault. Such footage can provide a clear view of how the accident occurred, making it easier to determine who was at fault. And unlike a driver trying to escape liability or an eyewitness who may not recall events correctly, dashboard camera footage is objective.  

For example, the dispute may be whether the other driver ran a stop sign. You say they did. The other driver says they stopped at the stop sign. The eyewitness (if there was one) isn’t sure. Dash cam footage that captures the accident scene would quickly clear up that dispute.  

Dashboard camera footage can also be extremely valuable if you were injured in a hit and run accident. It may provide useful information about the make, model, colour, and/or licence plate of the vehicle that fled the scene of the accident, or footage of the other driver themselves. That footage can be used to prove to the insurance company that the accident was caused by an unidentified driver, and it can also be used to try to locate and identify the wrongdoer.  

Obtaining And Preserving Dash Cam Footage 

So far, we’ve been discussing footage from your own dash cam. If you have a dashboard camera and it recorded the accident, take steps to preserve the footage as soon as possible after the accident. Losing or deleting dash cam footage means losing valuable evidence that can prove your personal injury claim.  

What if your dash cam footage isn’t helpful to your claim? It can be very harmful if you destroy it or fail to turn it over in your personal injury claim. An adverse inference can be drawn against you, which essentially means the judge or jury can infer that the missing footage did not support your version of how the accident occurred. Your claim may be dismissed altogether if you destroy or hide relevant evidence. Consult with one of our experienced car accident lawyers right away if you have questions about footage from your own dashboard camera.  

Lastly, what if the dash cam was in the other driver’s vehicle, or in another uninvolved vehicle that happened to be at the scene? If a bystander or witness tells you they have a dash cam that caught the road accident, get their full name and contact information and ask them to preserve their footage. If the vehicle you say caused the accident has a dash cam, make note of this. If that driver does not voluntarily turn over the footage, a copy can be requested during the discovery process in your personal injury lawsuit. An adverse inference can be drawn against the other driver if they destroy, alter, or fail to turn over the footage.  

Reach Out To Our Oshawa Personal Injury Lawyers For Advice 

f you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, we can help get the compensation you deserve. We welcome you to reach out to us at our offices in Lindsay or Oshawa

Our team of personal injury lawyers will help you consider your possible legal options and assist you through the steps of bringing a personal injury claim. We will walk you through the entire process, from securing evidence and preparing a strong case to negotiating with the insurers representing the party responsible for the road accident.  

Kelly Greenway Bruce is a full-service law firm with extensive experience in personal injury matters. We assist clients in Oshawa, Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes, Durham Region, GTA and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free case evaluation from one of our experienced car accident lawyers. 

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