The countless ways a car crash can happen often have specific details or nuances that sometimes neither street nor phone cameras are able to capture. This lack of real-time documentation makes it challenging to determine who is at fault.
Dashboard cameras, or dashcams, record the road ahead. Depending on the product, it can have multiple features to track or detect speed, time and location. If the footage is clear enough, it can also store seatbelt usage, and steering and braking patterns. This valuable information can serve as evidence in car crash claims.
Knowing how to legally install a dashcam and preserve its footage can help an injured party win their case.
Complying with dashcam rules
California law considers a dashcam as a vehicle equipment known as a “video event recorder.” The state legalized its use in 2011 with the following restrictions:
- Its size must either be seven square inches when mounted on the lower right corner of the windshield or five inches if installed on the windshield’s center and uppermost portion.
- Its placement must not trigger or interfere with airbag deployment.
- Video recording must only store 30 seconds of footage before or after the collision.
- Consent from all occupants is necessary for audio recording of conversations. The driver can notify passengers through visible notes or stickers. If someone refuses, the driver must turn it off or deactivate the audio feature.
The benefits of investing in a dashcam differ for every individual. For example, parents can use it as a tracking tool to monitor their teenage drivers. Meanwhile, vehicle owners or trucking companies often purchase it as a training device to show and encourage safer driving among their drivers. Further, it can help the authorities catch hit-and-run offenders.
Dashcam footage can make or break any case. As much as it can support a claim, the other party can also use it to invalidate the victim’s version of events and show partial liability for the incident. Thus, victims must work with a legal representative committed to thoroughly examining the footage and using it to their advantage for compensation recovery.