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The Role of Dash Cams in Missouri Vehicle Accident Claims

Explore how dash cams influence vehicle accident claims in Missouri. Buchanan Williams & O’Brien provides expert insights into the legal and evidentiary aspects of dash cam footage in accident resolution.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Missouri for over 40 years.

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An Overview Of The Crucial Role Of Dash Cams In Missouri’s Vehicle Accident Claims

Evidence is crucial in any vehicle accident claim, and in Missouri, dash cams can play a vital role in providing this evidence. These devices, mounted on a vehicle’s dashboard, consistently record your journey, providing impartial documentation that can be invaluable in resolving disputes after an accident. They serve as a reliable source of information, capturing crucial moments and helping to establish the facts accurately.

While the concept may seem straightforward, you might wonder how much weight dash cam footage carries in your car accident claim. Its significance varies, and it is crucial not to assume that dash cams alone can make or break your case. In this article, we will explore the legal landscape of dash cams in Missouri, their evidentiary value, practical considerations for drivers, and the importance of legal representation. 

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling vehicle accident claims involving dash cam evidence. We are well-versed in navigating the intricate legal terrain surrounding their use.

The Legal Landscape of Dash Cams in Missouri

Unlike many other states, Missouri does not have specific laws governing the use and placement of dashcams in vehicles. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely resolve your claim. It’s worth noting that some insurance companies have policies in place regarding the role of dashcam footage in car accident claims.

Dashboard cameras offer valuable video evidence in the event of an accident, supporting insurance claims. This evidence is instrumental for disputing or reporting incidents like aggressive driving, disregard for traffic signals, distracted driving, hit-and-runs (capturing license plate information), and encounters with hostile drivers post-accident.

Admissibility of Dash Cam Footage in Court

In Missouri courts, presenting video footage of an accident as evidence is permissible. Typically, these cases involve the insurance companies of the involved drivers, some of which may or may not have policies regarding using dashcam footage. However, even if an insurance company is hesitant to accept dashcam videos or refuses to introduce them as evidence, your car accident lawyer can bring the matter before a judge and argue their relevance.

It is worth noting that not all dash camera footage holds value or can serve as admissible evidence in a case. For instance, the reliability of a video is reduced if the video quality is poor. Moreover, dashcams have a limited field of view, leaving the possibility of accidents occurring outside their view. As a result, they may not always be able to show who is at fault for an accident.

So, it is essential to secure additional evidence, such as photos and videos of the crash scene and victims, and to collect any physical remnants of broken car parts, paint traces, and other debris from the site. It is also essential to obtain the police report and gather witness testimonies for a comprehensive case.

The Evidentiary Value of Dash Cam Footage

Objective Witness to Accidents

Dashcam footage is an unbiased witness in accident claims, offering an impartial perspective. Unlike human witnesses, dashcam videos lack bias and emotional influences that can impact human memory and perception. 

More so, dashcams display vital data like date, time, coordinates, and speed, aiding accident claim investigations. Also, cloud-enabled brilliant dash cams securely store emergency footage for uninterrupted access, protecting valuable evidence from loss or manipulation.

Lastly, some dash cams that offer multiple views beyond the front of your vehicle, such as the interior cabin or rear-view, provide additional angles of footage before, during, and after an accident or incident. This strengthens the credibility of your case, bolstering the available evidence.

These features, combined with the admissibility of dash cam footage in Missouri courts, make them a significant asset in vehicle accident claims, thereby increasing their evidentiary value.

Impact on Determining Liability

Dashcam footage significantly impacts liability determination in car and truck accidents. It precisely captures actions that may have caused the accident, such as erratic driving, speeding, sudden lane changes, or traffic rule violations. 

This leads to a quicker and more accurate fault determination, preventing prolonged disputes between drivers and insurers and reducing litigation costs. In some cases, the footage may even reveal multiple responsible parties, enabling a fairer allocation of liability.

Practical Considerations for Drivers

Choosing the Right Dash Cam

When selecting a dashcam, it is crucial to consider the factors that enhance its legal usefulness. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

Video Quality

The picture and video quality of a dashcam are crucial. A camera that captures blurry or choppy videos won’t help prove your innocence in an accident or identify a car thief. The camera’s resolution determines the image’s clarity, with a higher pixel count providing a clearer view. The frames per second (FPS) affects video smoothness and graininess. The field of view (FOV) determines the dashcam’s viewing range. Research these options to find a camera that suits your needs. 

Parking Mode

While dashcams serve as invaluable witnesses while driving, it’s important to note that specific models automatically power off when your car is parked. Fortunately, dashcams equipped with motion detection and impact sensors offer a solution. These advanced dashcams remain active even when your car is parked, ensuring they capture critical events like hit-and-runs. They will continue recording until the motion or impact subsides or until the camera’s battery is depleted.

Night Vision

If you often drive at night, it might be worth considering dashcams that come with night vision. These cameras can be a lifesaver in low-light situations, especially since some models struggle to capture clear footage without proper lighting. 

By using night vision technology, you can effectively capture what happens in case of an accident, even in complete darkness. This feature is handy for proving liability in motor vehicle accidents, especially at night.

Best Practices for Dash Cam Usage

To uphold the credibility of dashcam footage, it is crucial to establish its integrity. This can be accomplished by:

  • Making Sure Date and Time Stamps Are Accurate: Most modern dash cams embed date and time information into the video, enabling verification of the capture time.

  • Minimize Edits: Avoid unnecessary modifications to the footage. If edits are required, it is essential to involve an attorney who is capable of handling edits while maintaining transparency through proper documentation.

Getting help from an experienced Louis car accident attorney can help you make the most of your dash cam footage. They can advise you on what to record, how to handle the camera’s data, and other important factors affecting your case.

Steering Towards Safer Highways: Ensuring Road Safety for All

The importance of dashcams in Missouri vehicle accident claims is undeniable. They serve as impartial witnesses to accidents, playing a pivotal role in establishing liability and streamlining the settlement process. However, if not handled correctly, the dashcam footage could be declared inadmissible and could be detrimental to your case.

To navigate the legal complexities of your case, it’s essential to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help. We at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien can assist you in negotiating the best settlement with the insurance company in order to preserve and employ the dashcam footage.

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, we deliver exceptional legal services. Our experienced St. Louis car accident lawyers will guide you through every step of your claim, ensuring you understand your rights and available options. We are committed to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve while alleviating the stress associated with legal proceedings. 

Do not hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident and requires assistance with your claim.

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