Was there video footage of your car crash?
Solid evidence wins trials and, more importantly, helps car crash victims to settle their case for full and fair compensation without a trial. Eyewitnesses, police reports, medical testimony, photographs of the vehicles and injuries, and expert testimony can establish key facts that you will need to prove in your case.
But what kind of evidence could be more convincing than video footage of the car crash?
Video Footage of a Car Crash Can be Critical
If you are involved in a car crash that was caused by a negligent driver, you should begin collecting and preserving evidence immediately if you can do so safely.
What kind of evidence?
- Make sure you give a complete (and calm) statement of what happened to the responding officer – although their report is not admissible at trial, the insurance adjuster and attorneys will rely on the information that is in it, and the officer will rely on the written report if he or she testifies at trial;
- If it is possible to do so safely, take photographs or video of any damage to the vehicles, injuries to yourself or others, and the road conditions;
- If it is possible to do so safely, get the names and contact information for witnesses – although police should do this, often they will neglect to take information from anyone other than the participants in the crash;
- Follow up with any medical appointments and follow the advice of your doctors – if you cannot prove your injuries and how they have affected you since the crash, you won’t get fully compensated for them; and
- If possible, make a note of any cameras that may have captured video footage of the car crash and where they are located.
How can video footage help? It could provide conclusive evidence that you were driving safely when the other vehicle hit you. It may also show that the other driver was distracted, looking at their cell phone, tailgating, ran a stop sign, or blew through a red light.
If you were struck by a hit-and-run driver, video footage of the car crash may provide enough information for police or your attorney to track down the other driver…
Cameras that May Provide Video Footage of Your Car Crash
Obviously, and unfortunately, not every car crash is going to have video footage that your attorney can use to prove your case. When it is available, however, it can be invaluable in proving your case and in forcing a settlement before your case goes to trial.
Years ago, a local attorney met with a potential client whose family had been struck by a driver who rammed into them on a sidewalk. The car hit the man’s wife and child, and the man, who was muscle-bound and not someone you would mess with, immediately dragged the driver out of his car and knocked him to the ground.
The man was arrested and charged with assault and battery.
When the attorney investigated and discovered that a nearby motel had video footage of the car crash and assault, what they saw – a car jumping the curb onto the sidewalk at high speed and plowing into a woman and child – was so shocking that it led to the dismissal of the man’s assault charges and a quick settlement by the man’s insurance company for policy limits…
Every case is different, and, in many cases, video footage of the car crash just won’t be available. When it is, though, where can you find it?
- Security cameras: As in the example above, many businesses have security cameras outside of their premises. Some businesses will not turn over the video footage easily, but it can be obtained by law enforcement or by a subpoena from your attorney.
- Red-light cameras: Many intersections are now equipped with “red-light cameras,” designed to capture a photo of vehicles who run the red light so the police department can mail them a ticket. When the footage or photo is relevant in a civil case, it can be obtained by subpoena or with a FOIA request to the appropriate agency.
- Police cameras: Most police cars in SC are now equipped with dash cams, and many police officers are now required to wear body cams as well. When the footage captured on these cameras is relevant to a civil case, it can be obtained by subpoena or by a FOIA request.
- Weather cams: In some locations, media outlets have installed “weather cams” or “traffic cams” that are intended to provide footage of inclement weather or traffic conditions for news reports – these may also be obtained by subpoena if they contain footage that is relevant to your case.
- Citizen cameras: More and more people are quick to pull out their cell phones and record anything unusual that they see happening – if the other driver appeared intoxicated or was driving erratically, a witness may come forward with video footage of the car crash that can be used in your case. The incident may also have been recorded on someone’s dashcam or bicycle helmet.
Whenever possible, whether we are talking to an insurance adjuster, defense attorney, or jury, it is best to show what happened instead of telling what happened.
As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words…”
SC Car Crash Attorneys in Myrtle Beach and Conway
If you have been involved in a car crash that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, get an experienced SC auto accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible after the accident. Call now at (843) 488-5000 or send an online message to talk with a SC auto accident attorney in Myrtle Beach today.