How Can Evidence From Dashboard Cameras Be Used In Florida?
Dashboard cameras are becoming more and more common in cars and trucks on the roadway today. You may choose to get a dashboard camera and use it after reading this article.
Why Should I Get A Dashboard Camera?
Most people who choose to invest in a dashboard camera have been in a car accident before and were not satisfied with the outcome. One of the unfortunate things about car accidents is that people do not frequently agree as to who is responsible for the accident. Having a dashboard camera can help you get the evidence you need to rebut the other driver’s story.
Most car accident cases in Florida are decided simply your word against the other driver’s in a courtroom (plus whatever objective damage exists to the vehicle or skidmarks in the roadway). In most accident cases that I have, you know that there were witnesses to the accident but they they did not stop and give their information. Alternatively, the police may not have felt it necessary to take down names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses because liability was clear in the police officer’s mind. Once those witnesses have left the scene of the accident, they can be next to impossible to find.
Having video evidence of how the accident actually happened may make the difference between whether an insurance company settles with you or whether they are defending you against the claims of the other driver. Being able to prove your case with real evidence (and not just your testimony) has real value. You might be able to settle your case without expensive litigation if you have live video.
Modern Dashboard Camera Technology Features
Many of the newer dashboard cameras have front and rear cameras, GPS logging, and impact sensors to automatically store a loop of the last 20 seconds of recording. These features gather unparalleled evidence for a car accident case.
Can My Dashboard Camera Be Used Against Me?
Having a dashboard camera in your car may be a double-edged sword. If you cause a car accident and you have a dashboard camera in your car, you may be required to keep the video evidence or face sanctions from a judge for failure to do so (usually in the form of an inference that the evidence was unfavorable to you). If you keep the video of the accident from your dashboard camera, you may be compelled to produce that evidence or, if you were a witness to an accident, you may be subject to a subpoena where you must produce the evidence.
With that being said, unless you a reckless or dangerous driver to begin with, you are probably better off having the evidence from a dashboard camera.
Legal Standard For Video Or Photographic Evidence In Florida Courtrooms
In Florida, the foundation of any photographic or video evidence is:
- A witness must be able to recognize what is depicted in the photograph or video; and
- A witness must be able to say that the image is a “fair and accurate” depiction of things as they were on the date in question
While some degree of inaccuracy is permitted when photographs or video are taken at a later date and time, photos or video of the accident actually happening cannot be any more “fair and accurate.” It is not necessary that you prove a “chain of custody” when it comes to photographs or video in Florida so long as the images themselves are “fair and accurate.”
Will I Save Any Money On My Insurance Premium?
Insurance companies in Florida are not required to give you a discount because you have or use a dashboard camera. However, you may be saving money on your premium if you are involved in a car accident in Florida because the evidence will prove that you do not have a significant degree of comparative fault for the accident. In other words, an insurance company cannot legally raise your premium (for bodily injury or uninsured motorist coverage) unless you are at least partially to blame for the accident.
Talk To A Lakeland Car Accident Attorney About Your Case
If you have been involved in a car accident in Lakeland, Florida, you should speak to a Lakeland car accident attorney about your legal options after the accident. An appointment with a personal injury attorney is free and without obligation. We assist clients with in Polk County including Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, and Haines City, Florida.