The Importance of Surveillance Camera Footage As Evidence in a Car Accident Claim

Our attorneys can help build a strong case on your behalf

Evidence is key to a successful case outcome in the aftermath of a car accident. Surveillance camera footage is a powerful tool in reconstructing events and determining fault after a crash. The good news is that cameras are everywhere.

However, knowing where to find and obtain footage can be challenging, especially when nearby cameras aren’t noticeable to the eye. An experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at Romanow Law Group can help you get the evidence you need to establish liability and help you build a strong case.

Why is surveillance camera footage valuable in car accident cases?

Surveillance camera footage is valuable in car accident cases for several reasons, including:

  • Objective evidence: While witness testimonies can be subjective and sometimes unreliable, video footage provides an unbiased record of events.
  • Accurate timeline: Footage can pinpoint the exact time of a car accident and the sequence of events leading up to it.
  • Visual details: Cameras can capture key details that human observers might miss or forget. These include traffic light colors, vehicle speeds, and road conditions.
  • Identification: Video can help identify vehicles, drivers, and other parties involved, especially in hit-and-run cases.
  • Corroboration: Footage can support or refute statements made by at-fault drivers.
  • Clarity in complex scenarios: Video can help untangle the chain of events in accidents involving multiple vehicles or complicated circumstances.

What types of surveillance cameras might capture a car accident?

Various types of surveillance cameras may capture footage of a car accident, including:

  • Traffic cameras installed at intersections and along major roads.
  • Security cameras found on buildings, businesses, and private properties near roadways.
  • Gas station cameras covering pumps and adjacent roads.
  • Parking lot cameras that capture footage in or near parking areas.
  • Public transit cameras installed on buses or at transit stops.
  • Police dash cams if law enforcement is in the vicinity.
  • Doorbell cameras in residential areas.
  • Temporary cameras at work zones near roads.
  • Bridge or tunnel cameras.

How soon should I obtain surveillance footage after a car accident?

When obtaining surveillance footage after a car accident, time is of the essence. You should act immediately, as many systems automatically delete footage within 24-72 hours.

Promptly contact property owners or authorities managing nearby cameras, and consider having a lawyer send a preservation letter if necessary.

Can surveillance footage be used as evidence in court?

Surveillance footage can be used as evidence in court. Still, the footage must meet legal standards for relevance and authenticity and have a clear chain of custody to ensure its integrity.

The quality of the video is also important; it must be clear enough to provide meaningful information about the crash. Additionally, the court may require testimony to explain the footage's context and significance. In some cases, expert analysis may be necessary to interpret or enhance the footage.

What are the potential limitations of surveillance camera footage?

While surveillance footage can be valuable in your car accident case, it's important to recognize its potential limitations. These include:

  • Restricted camera angles that may not capture the entire scene.
  • Poor image quality due to environmental factors such as rain, fog, or snow.
  • Blind spots caused by obstructions.
  • Time gaps in recording.
  • Technical malfunctions that result in missing or corrupted footage.

Can surveillance camera footage alone prove my case?

While surveillance camera footage can provide indisputable evidence regarding how your crash occurred, it may not be sufficient to build your case in and of itself.

Insurance companies often look for any reason they can to shift the blame. Any of the previously mentioned limitations could potentially result in disputes over fault. That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyer who can factor in additional evidence to build your case. That might include:

  • The official police report: This document contains the date, time, location, and circumstances surrounding the car accident. It may also include a diagram of how the crash occurred, citations, and arrests.
  • Statements from witnesses: When combined with surveillance camera footage, witness statements can be powerful evidence in your car accident case.
  • Your medical records: A timely medical evaluation and diagnosis can help establish a link between your injuries and the crash you were involved in.
  • Cell phone records: If distracted driving is believed to have caused your car accident, an attorney may subpoena the other driver’s cell phone records as evidence.
  • Expert testimony from a crash reconstructionist: If, despite all of the above-mentioned evidence, there are still disputes over fault, your attorney may consult a crash reconstructionist to determine how the incident occurred and provide expert testimony, especially if your case goes to trial.

Why should I consult with an attorney after a car accident?

Despite the evidence, insurance adjusters are savvy when it comes to reducing their payouts to crash victims. They could contact you for a recorded statement, claim your injuries are exaggerated, or provide only a lowball settlement that pays a fraction of your total losses.

With an experienced Pittsburgh car accident attorney on your side, the insurance companies can’t take advantage of you. The attorneys at Romanow Law Group can fight tirelessly to investigate your crash, protect your rights, and negotiate for a fair and maximum settlement.

After a car accident, your decisions can significantly impact your future. Don't let insurance companies undervalue your claim or pressure you into a quick settlement. We have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to handle every aspect of your case.

Also, don't let concerns about legal fees hold you back. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront and pay no fees unless we win your case. This allows you to access high-quality legal representation without any financial risk.

When you’re ready to take the next step toward justice, contact us for a free consultation. Let us use our experience to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

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