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Using Traffic Cam Footage to Prove Fault in Car Accidents

A common and often severe risk, hundreds of car accidents occur each day. In fact, according to the CDC, approximately 6 million car accidents happen in the United States each year. When involved in an automobile accident, one of the most crucial factors is to determine who is at fault, which can sometimes be a tricky situation when both parties are unwilling to claim liability. With the help of a personal injury attorney, obtaining any traffic cam footage nearby the scene of an accident can simplify the process of delegating fault.

The Importance of Traffic Cam Footage

Cars driving on the interstate at night

Car accidents are unexpected and often happen very quickly. Many people involved in car accidents have difficulty recalling each event that led up to a collision, often remembering details inaccurately. As such, traffic and video surveillance footage can help support claims of driver negligence and protect innocent drivers from any muddying of the details of an accident.

Types of Traffic Cam Footage

A variety of sources for traffic camera footage exist when attempting to establish fault in a car accident. While some are not intended to capture car accidents, each of these devices can offer drivers video evidence that can help depict liability if they are located nearby the scene of the accident. The most common types of video evidence for car accidents include:

  • Red-light cameras: Though aimed at catching drivers who fail to stop at red lights, traffic signal cameras may record car accidents that occur at or near a major intersection.
  • Automated speed enforcement cameras: As an attempt to regulate reckless driving, these cameras capture videos of drivers committing traffic violations and can be used as evidence when an accident is caused by speeding.
  • Dash cameras: Mounted on the dashboard or windshield of a vehicle, these cameras record the driver’s view of the road and are becoming increasingly popular among drivers.
  • Business security cameras: While these cameras are not intended to capture roadway incidents, business security cameras are often scattered across a property and can record parking lot or roadway accidents that occur nearby.
  • Witness cellphones: Nowadays, most people carry a cell phone with them at all times. As such, witnesses may be likely to capture the unfolding of events on a cell phone camera during an accident.
  • Home surveillance systems: Whether a doorbell camera or a property camera, homes surveillance systems can offer video footage of a car accident that occurs near a residence.

When searching for video footage to establish fault in a car accident, it’s recommended that you consider each possible source to acquire a comprehensive picture of the roadway incident. In doing so, you’ll want to get in contact with local or state governments, nearby business owners, and any witnesses for access to supporting evidence for any car accident lawsuits.

Obtaining Traffic Cam Footage

Aside from contacting the authorities and filing a claim with your insurance company, one of the first steps you should take following a car accident is to locate any video footage available that may aid your personal injury claim. However, it’s critical that you act fast to gather any available evidence to ensure that the footage is not deleted or lost. In fact, any surveillance footage is often kept by public or private entities for a limited period, sometimes as little as 72 hours.

Acquiring evidence promptly after a crash can be challenging when you’re unsure of how to request access and from whom. This process can be facilitated with the assistance of an experienced attorney knowledgeable on gathering footage from a variety of sources, including complex government entities.

The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney

If you’re faced with a car accident lawsuit, time may be the most important aspect of building your case. You’ll want to gather any crash evidence to combat claims of liability, but oftentimes, people who seek footage from a second party are met with resistance. Government entities are not always prompt in response, and private businesses are under no obligation to hand over any surveillance footage to citizens. However, such entities may be more likely to comply with the requests of a personal injury attorney. As car accident lawyers, experienced personal injury attorneys can help with:

  • Locating traffic cameras, businesses, and witnesses with video surveillance of a car accident
  • Contacting the operators and owners of video evidence to receive access
  • Requesting a subpoena when entities with surveillance cameras are unwilling to grant access
  • Providing defense in a car accident lawsuit using video evidence

Get Help From the Leav & Steinberg LLP Team

Whether a daily commuter or a leisure driver, car accidents pose a threat to your safety and property every time you’re on the road. If you’ve been involved in a car crash and need to obtain footage to support your claim, you’ll need the expertise of a personal injury attorney who knows the law. With over 15 years of experience as a law firm, the Leav & Steinberg LLP team specializes in pursuing compensation from careless drivers for each of our New York clients involved in an accident. To see how we can support you with your personal injury claim, request your free consultation with our accident lawyers today.