Dash cams are new devices that are gaining popularity among motorist. While auto insurance companies are not quick to accept new technology, we are seeing evidence that these recording devices can be important for insurance claims. If you have not considered getting one for your car or truck, you should. It can help your case in the event you are involved in an accident.
What is a dash cam? These are small video cameras that attach to your dashboard or windshield and points at the road ahead. Some models have a camera that also points to the interior. They are often powered via a connection to your vehicle’s battery, or through a cigarette lighter. You can buy a dash cam at any electronic or technology store or online. Costs vary, but many sell for around $60.
How Does It Work?
Upon starting your vehicle, the dash cam starts recording digital video. Dash cams can record many hours of digital video of the road and traffic while you are driving. Depending on your dash cam model, recorded footage will be replaced with new footage after a specified elapse of driving time.
The idea behind the camera is to record what happens while driving. The dash cam can show if something was in the road that caused a collision in which you are injured. If the other driver involved in the accident was at fault, you may be able to use dash cam footage to prevail in an injury claim against that driver’s insurance company. Perhaps a vehicle swerved in front of you and caused a crash, or perhaps a distracted pedestrian stepped off a curb directly in front of your vehicle, or maybe an animal ran in front of your car, causing you to swerve, your dash cam can show why the accident happened. However, if you were at fault for an accident it can show that too.
How does a Dash Cam Affect Auto Insurance Companies and Claims?
Although auto insurance companies in the United States do not yet provide a discount for the installation of a dash cam in a vehicle, there are several benefits of having one of these devices installed. These benefits can help ensure that your insurance premium does not rise unnecessarily due to a lack of evidence that you may have available to show your insurance provider regarding an accident.
Let’s say you are in an accident. If you speak to five different witnesses about an accident, you may hear five different versions of the event. However, if you have video proof of an accident in which you were involved, which demonstrates you are not at fault, you can help prevent your insurance rates from rising. Unfortunately, using dash cam footage as evidence in an insurance claim depends on the insurer. Not all companies will accept such footage. Some may accept it only if it’s extremely clear that the other driver was at fault.
Even with a dash cam recording, having eye witnesses can be more effective in making an injury claim. That’s why it’s vital after an accident to identify witnesses who support your claim and get their contact information.
Expedite Your Auto Accident Claim
Video evidence can be very powerful and convincing when you’re trying to support a car insurance claim. If the auto insurance company is willing to use the video evidence from your dash cam, the company can potentially save time and energy sorting through various eyewitness accounts and photos of the accident.
Your dash cam footage can also minimize the need for you and the insurance company to have lengthy discussions about what occurred and who was at fault. Dash cam footage is an exact representation of the event and in many instances, more reliable than eyewitness accounts. Such recorded footage can help an insurance company determine liability in an expedited manner.
Are the Recordings Legal
Although there are no federal laws that prohibit dash cam recordings in the United States, it’s important to check your local state laws regarding dashboard camera rules and regulations.
In some states, dash cams which record audio can be illegal, due to laws mandating “two-party consent” to record conversations. However, Texas is a “one-party consent” state, so that is not a problem in Texas as long as you are present.
An exception would be when you leave your car with a mechanic. Then, any audio recordings without you present could be illegal eavesdropping. Thus, mute your dash cam audio before leaving it at a garage.
Texas law makes no specific mention of dash cams. But Texas law does prohibit obstruction of driver’s view. A dash cam could obstruct your view if positioned improperly. So, place your camera in the corner of your dashboard on the passenger side. Additionally, keep in mind that viewing your dash cam’s screen may distract you as a driver. Any such screen within a driver’s view is illegal in Texas. Make sure that any such screen is positioned where you can’t see it.
Fight Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud is a crime that does occur. Individuals purposely engage in deceitful actions that are disguised as legitimate accidents. However, if you have dash cam video evidence of the event, you can turn that evidence over to the insurance companies. The more such fraudulent incidents are captured and reported, then fewer false claims will be recorded in the insurance system. Undetected and unreported false claims drive up the cost of insurance rates for all auto insurance consumers.
If you are facing significant hardship due to an injury you suffered in a recent car accident, contact Walker Texas Lawyer. James Walker wants to help you focus on your recovery without you having to be bothered with the distractions of handling a car accident claim. Our team will work hard to help you recover the compensation to which you may be entitled too.