Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, have become increasingly popular in recent years. These small cameras are mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle and record video footage of the road ahead. 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.
Dash cams can be valuable insurance reasons, but also in the event of an accident. They can help a car accident law firm prove your case. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of having a dash cam in your vehicle, how they work, and what to look for when purchasing one.
Benefits of Having a Dash Cam
1.Evidence in Case of an Accident
Dash cams can provide valuable evidence in the event of an accident. Dashcams provide an unaltered and unbiased account of what took place on any particular road at a specific time. Additionally, they may assist you in making your case for personal injury. With a dashcam in place, you have an extra layer of assurance that your rights are being protected. They help a Houston car accident law firm to stand for your rights.
2. Protection Against Insurance Fraud
Dash cams can also protect against insurance fraud. There have been cases where drivers intentionally cause accidents to collect insurance money. Dash cam can provide a clear picture of what actually happened during the car accident. With dash cam footage, insurance providers cannot accuse drivers of lying or exaggerating damages. They provide evidence that the accident was not your fault. This helps to protect drivers who are innocent in car accidents. As well as deters opportunistic people who use car accidents as an opportunity to swindle money from innocent parties.
3. Monitor Your Driving
Dash cams can also be used to monitor your driving habits. This can be useful for parents who want to monitor their teenage drivers or for commercial drivers who want to ensure that their employees are driving safely.
4. Capture Unexpected Events
Dash cams can capture unexpected events, such as meteor showers or other unusual occurrences. These videos are nice memories or can be shared with others. Yet, another unexpected event they can capture are hit-and-run drivers. Often these drivers sometimes flee the scene and leave no evidence. However, your dashboard camera can be a vital piece of evidence. They can capture the license plate number and any other relevant information. If you are involved in a Houston car accident, a dashboard camera can act as your own personal witness by capturing the details of the car wreck.
5. Prove Your Case In Court
For car accident victims, a dash cam can be powerful evidence in proving your claims. Often times car accidents involve conflicting stories from the drivers. Having indisputable video footage can prove the truth. The footage from these devices speaks much louder than words. This often helps to create a more accurate and credible courtroom ruling. With this piece of technology, your car accident law firm has a leg up in fighting on your behalf.
How Does It Work?
Dash cams are typically powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter or by a USB connection. They record video footage onto a memory card, which can be removed and viewed on a computer or other device. 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. Some dash cams also have built-in GPS and can record the vehicle’s speed and location.
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. Additionally, they can tell 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.
There are many scenarios they are good for. For instance, 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.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Dash Cam
When purchasing a dash cam, there are several factors to consider:
- Video Quality: Look for a dash cam that records in high definition (HD) or better. This will ensure that the footage is clear and easy to see.
- Field of View: The wider the field of view, the more of the road the camera can capture. Look for a dash cam with a field of view of at least 120 degrees.
- Night Vision: Look for a dash cam that has night vision capabilities. This will ensure that the footage is clear even in low light conditions.
- Storage Capacity: Consider the storage capacity of the dash cam. Look for one that has a large enough memory card to store several hours of footage.
- Price: Dash cams can range in price from less than $50 to several hundred dollars. Consider your budget and what features are most important to you.
How does a Dash Cam Affect Auto Insurance Companies and Claims?
Auto insurance companies have started programs to provide discounts for the installation of a dash cam. We discussed many benefits above, yet, another added benefit. They 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. But, if you have video proof of an accident that 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 recording, having eyewitnesses can be effective in making an injury claim. That’s why if you are in a car collision, a vital first step is to identify witnesses supporting your claim. Doing this helps any car accident law firm fight on your behalf.
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. The 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 that 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 with a mechanic.
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.
Walker Texas Lawyer – Your Car Accident Law Firm
Dash cams can provide valuable evidence in the event of an accident, protect against insurance fraud, and monitor driving habits. When purchasing a dash cam, consider factors such as video quality, field of view, night vision, storage capacity, and price. At Walker Texas Lawyer, we believe in promoting safe driving practices and encourage all drivers to consider investing in a dash cam for their vehicle. If you are ever in an accident remember to call Houston’s Car Accident Lawyer, Walker Texas Lawyer.
Not sure about your legal options?
Additional Car Accident Resources
- Car Accident Lawyer
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- Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
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- Everything You Need to Know About the Hands-Free Law in Texas
- Evidence You Need For Your Car Accident Claim
- Photographic Evidence At The Scene Of An Accident Can Boost Your Claim
- Road Rage and Aggressive Driving — Here’s What You Need to Know
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