When you visit our Douglasville auto accident lawyers for the first time, they will ask whether you have evidence to support your claim. This is because personal injury claims, like other civil cases, are won by the person who the scale of justice tilts in their favor. Evidence is a key determinant of where the scale of justice tilts.
Different types of proof are admissible in an auto crash case, from pictures and video footage to witness statements. Video evidence is one of the most used means of establishing fault after an auto collision. However, the nature of the devices used to record videos calls for careful handling and prompt action to preserve the evidence.
This article discusses how to preserve video evidence and the different sources. If you or a loved one are victims of an auto collision, our legal team at Hartley, Rowe, and Fowler can help you recover compensation.
What Is Video Evidence?
As all auto accident lawyers in Douglasville know, video evidence is any video recording admissible in a court of law. For example, the footage might be from a video home system (VHS) or other digital formats like smartphones.
The video recording must relate directly to the crash and show what happened before and after the accident. This is why video is considered both real and direct evidence. Most times, it is indisputable and shows the liability of both parties.
As such, video evidence in auto crash cases involving multiple vehicles is crucial as it shows the degree of liability of all the parties involved. Therefore, crash victims need to secure video footage of the crash by themselves or through the help of a witness or third party.
How to Get Video Evidence After a Car Crash in Douglasville, Georgia
Now, you know what video evidence is and why it is important. Next, we will discuss the different sources of video evidence in a car accident case.
A dashboard camera, or dashcam, is an onboard camera that continuously records the view through a vehicle’s front windscreen and sometimes rear or other windows. A dashcam records a car accident in real-time, making it an excellent source of video evidence.
However, since most dashcams record the driver’s front view, your dashcam footage might not be useful if you were in a side-impact or rear-end collision. It would only help if you were in a head-on crash. So, how do you get dashcam footage that records your accident?
By looking for a driver who witnessed the crash and politely asking for their dashcam footage. However, the person is at liberty to accept or reject your request. So alternatively, you can also ask the police to secure the dashcam footage of the driver who hit you to keep them from damaging it.
Businesses and Government Buildings
You can also get video footage from businesses and government buildings if the accident happened in a commercial area. Most businesses and government buildings have a security camera outside their premises as a security precaution. Also, bank ATMs have cameras.
Auto accident lawyers in Douglasville will write a formal request letter to the business or government agency to view their security footage. This request must happen within 72 hours after the accident as most recordings auto-delete after this time, and you lose the data. Therefore, contact a personal injury law firm immediately after the crash.
Residential Security Cameras
If the collision happened in a residential area, check to see if the houses within the vicinity have security cameras. Most houses in suburban neighborhoods do, and homeowners now install door locks with cameras. Therefore, you can request copies of the footage through your injury lawyer.
In cases where a business or residential property owner fails to give you copies of the video footage, you can ask the investigating police officer to request them if they haven’t done so. In addition, you can request a subpoena from the court if the police do not get the footage. However, your lawyer must prove the recording is crucial to the case, and not getting it will affect your right to maximum compensation.
What About Traffic Cameras?
Traffic cameras are great sources of video evidence after a car accident as they record the collision in real time. However, they will not be useful to you in Douglasville, Georgia. The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) does not record footage from traffic cameras.
The cameras are used to monitor the flow of traffic and the state of road conditions. So, you will not get a positive response if you request a copy of the traffic camera recordings from Georgia DOT. So, the best anyone can do is to view traffic using Georgia 511.
If someone watches an accident using Georgia 511, they can act as witnesses to narrate what happened. However, finding them might take a lot of work. So it is better to use other sources of video evidence.
Douglasville Auto Accident Lawyers Explain How to Preserve Video Evidence
As mentioned, video footage is crucial evidence in a car accident case. Therefore, you must preserve them to maintain their authenticity and admissibility. Firstly, never edit the video to make the accident more than it is, like increasing the speed of the cars to worsen the crash impact.
This will only backfire as the insurance company, or a court will also examine the vehicle to ensure it corroborates the video evidence. Secondly, the device used for recording the video determines the preservation technique.
You must immediately remove the flash drive of a dashcam to protect it from the elements. Also, copy the recording from security cameras to a flash drive within 72 hours. The time can be more or less, depending on how long the security company stores the video.
If you are storing video evidence on a flash drive, ensure it does get corrupted and keep it in a safe, dry place. It is always best to hand it over to your lawyer and make multiple copies. Videos recorded on smartphones should be backed up in cloud storage like Google Drive.
Our Auto Accident Lawyers in Douglasville Will Help You Preserve Evidence and Get Maximum Compensation
Hartley, Rowe, and Fowler is a premium personal injury law firm in Douglasville committed to helping injury victims win their claims against negligent at-fault parties. Our combined years of experience and legal expertise make us the best firm to represent you.
We will keep every piece of evidence needed to prove your claim intact and protect your rights. Our services are on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees. Book a free consultation today to learn more about how our personal injury lawyers in Douglasville can help you win.