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Dash Cams: Why You Might Want to Invest

Almost everything you need to be a safe driver comes in the form of knowledge and practice. Following speed limits, engaging in defensive driving, and ensuring you and your passengers are always buckled up are the kinds of habits that can help keep you safe on the road. Sadly, not everyone else on the road will behave the same way, which can lead to accidents resulting in serious injury or death.

In these circumstances, you need as much evidence as possible to prove that you were obeying traffic laws. It will also help to have evidence of another driver’s wrongdoing, as proving negligence will help you seek the maximum possible for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While a camera system won’t protect you from the dangers of the road, it can help you recover in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Hopefully, the advice below will find you before you have to deal with the aftermath of an accident. But if you or a loved one has already been injured in a car accident, seek damages from those responsible. With the help of the seasoned car accident lawyers in Chicago at Langdon & Emison, you can aim for the maximum possible damages to ensure you have the compensation you need to recover.

Call us at (312) 855-0700 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

How Do Dash Cams Work?

A dashcam is a small camera that you can mount to the front or rear window of your car. The idea is to capture footage that shows the details of a roadway event as it actually happened. As technology has progressed, these cameras have gotten cheaper and higher in quality, allowing drivers all over the world to rely less on eyewitnesses and still photographs after an accident.

After a car accident, a police officer should be called to the scene. In situations where there is no recorded evidence, the officer should take statements from all drivers involved in the accident and compile a report. Eyewitnesses may be questioned as well, and depending on the seriousness of the accident, an investigation may be staged immediately or at a later date.

All of these attempts to understand the events of an accident are susceptible to confusion and misinterpretation. Video evidence of the events preceding and during an accident is far less likely to be misconstrued.

How Can a Dash Cam Help in My Chicago Car Accident Case?

Video evidence of an accident can be helpful in a case that otherwise may have no objective facts to prove who was at fault. In a state like Illinois, where you are only eligible to seek damages if you are less than 50% responsible for an accident, having video proof of another driver’s negligence can boost your chances of successfully seeking recovery.

The modified comparative negligence rules in Illinois also dictate the maximum amount a victim of a car accident is eligible to pursue. If you’re partially responsible for an accident, the amount you may recover is directly reduced by the percent a court finds you responsible. Video evidence can help you fight back against the accusations of a negligent driver and their insurance provider.

Could a Dash Cam Hurt My Case?

It may seem like an obvious choice to present dashcam footage to the police or submit it as evidence in a case, but it may not always be the best choice. Even when you are confident that another driver is at fault, the footage on a dashcam can reveal evidence that you may be more responsible than you realize.

Be careful to avoid self-incrimination when speaking with police officers and insurance companies. The same concept applies to dashcam footage. The best way to keep yourself safe during a car accident case is to consult with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer before submitting any external evidence to the authorities. With an experienced attorney, you can go over the footage to avoid accidentally revealing more than you intended.

However, note that the discovery of the existence of dashcam footage can allow the party defending against liability to subpoena that footage as evidence.

Do I Need Permission From the Other Party To Record From My Dashcam?

Recording video through a dashcam is almost universally allowed by most states since roadways are a public space with no expectation of privacy.

Audio recording requirements vary by state. In two-party consent states, the other party needs to be aware of the fact that they are being recorded and give specific consent. Illinois’ two-party laws were largely overturned by a 2014 Supreme Court decision observing that public conversations have no expectation of privacy.

However, there is a chance a party can raise objections to the use of recorded audio if they feel like they were being secretly or surreptitiously recorded. Knowing this, it may be best to inform anyone in range of the dashcam that their voice might be recorded. Further, audio may not be admissible in a civil case if a party can raise legitimate objections based on the fact that they did not consent to the recording.

Get Help From a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Will County, Kane County, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, or another county in the Chicago area, getting help from a local lawyer is one of the best ways to improve your chances of getting the money you deserve.

If you’ve got dashcam footage from an accident and want to know if you should fight for damages, the attorneys at Langdon & Emison can review your options.

Call us at (312) 855-0700 or contact us online to get your free consultation scheduled at no risk to you.