How dash cams can impact personal injury cases - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 19 January 2018

How dash cams can impact personal injury cases

#AskJillianCarrington

Highway collisions can be sudden and violent events frequently lasting no more than a few seconds. It is common for witnesses, and even drivers and passengers involved in the accident, to give vastly differing accounts of what happened. When a personal injury case goes to court, a judge must sort through the evidence and testimony presented by the parties to determine which of them was at fault. The audio and video captured by a dashboard camera could offer the best evidence in a personal injury case of what happened before, during and after an accident.

Capturing what goes on in front of your car

The popularity of dashboard cameras is evident from the number of videos of car crashes and high-speed police chases posted on YouTube. Unlike cameras designed for hand-held operation, dash cams are designed for installation in a car or other vehicle and operate continuously whenever the ignition is on.

Dash cams record all activity taking place in front of your vehicle, so in the event of an accident, the video may be used as evidence to prove what took place. Unlike the witnesses whose recollection of events may fade over time or be influenced by what they read or hear about an event, a dash cam captures the events as they happen and preserves them for later use.

One drawback associated with having a dash cam recording as you drive is that the video it produces can also be used against you. If you are speeding or engaging in careless or reckless behaviour, this will be captured by the camera and used against you by another driver. It could also become evidence against you in a criminal case arising out of the operation of your vehicle.

How can video evidence be helpful in personal injury cases?

The video from a dash cam can help your lawyer prove the events leading up to a crash between two or more motor vehicles. For example, the position of each vehicle in the moments prior to a collision and leading up to the actual impact can be viewed and analyzed to determine who was at fault.

Dashboard cameras are useful in helping lawyers identify potential witnesses to an accident. Bystanders and occupants of vehicles that might have stopped to help at an accident scene who might have been omitted from accident reports could be identified from the dash cam video of a vehicle. License plates, vehicle descriptions and other identifying information about people and cars at the scene could help in locating witnesses.

Dashboard cameras: Are they legal and what can you record?

There are no laws preventing you from installing a dash cam and recording events as they unfold in front of you while driving. As long as you are recording events taking place in public, the video may be used as evidence in court.

Drivers with dash cams must take care to avoid allowing the devices to become distractions while they are driving. Distracted driving in Ontario is illegal and could subject you to a $490 fine and demerit points on your driver’s licence. Keep in mind that the video from your dash cam could be used to prove you were driving while distracted.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The team of personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for people injured in all types of accidents, so they understand how to use dash cam evidence to benefit the people they represent. Call their 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations and represent accident victims throughout Ontario.

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