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.
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:
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.
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.
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.