If you spend a lot of time driving, you’ve probably seen other drivers make awful decisions on the road. Bad drivers and dangerous road conditions are unfortunate facts of life. No matter how safe of a driver you may be, other drivers and unsafe roads can put you at risk of a car crash.
That’s why many safety-conscious drivers get dash cams for their vehicles. A dash cam can provide critical evidence that you were not at fault in a car crash. Here’s what dash cams do, how they can impact car insurance claims, and how you can use dash cam footage effectively in your claim.
What Are Dash Cams?
A dash cam is a camera that rests on your car’s dashboard. These cameras face the windshield of your vehicle and record what’s happening in front of you. Depending on the camera, it may constantly record, it may start recording when it detects motion, or you may need to turn it on. Some cameras store recordings locally, and others upload them to private internet storage. The camera’s purpose is to record your driving behavior, other drivers’ actions, and road conditions.
Dash cams exist because bad drivers exist. If you have a dash cam running while you drive, it will document any car accidents you suffer. The camera will capture the entire incident, whether someone runs a red light, cuts you off, or slams on their brakes for no reason. That can be valuable evidence if you need to pursue compensation after someone hits your car.
How Dash Cam Footage Can Affect Car Insurance and Personal Injury Claims
Dash cam footage is one of the best forms of evidence in any claim related to a car accident. That’s because the footage documents exactly what happened before a crash. In many cases, a dash cam video can entirely remove doubt about liability in a collision.
Liability is the cornerstone of accident claims, whether you’re filing an insurance report or a personal injury lawsuit. In both cases, you’re arguing that you are not at fault for the accident and that you should receive compensation for your losses. In fact, personal injury lawsuits, insurance claims, and liability are closely tied.
To understand why, an example helps. Suppose you’re driving through an intersection when another driver T-bones your car and sends you to the hospital. You’ve suddenly accrued significant medical and automotive bills. Those bills should be covered by car insurance, but there’s an important question: whose policy will cover them? Yours, or the other driver’s?
That’s where liability comes into play. The other driver may argue that you ran a red light and they had no way to stop before they hit you. If that’s the case, then you’re liable for the accident. Your own insurance will need to cover your injuries, and you may receive significantly less because you were at fault.
On the other hand, if you had a green light and the other driver was the one who ran a red, then they are liable. Their insurance should cover your expenses without liability-based limitations.
While this is how it should work, insurance companies often look for ways to minimize the amount they have to pay. They may dispute liability, the severity of the injuries you suffered, the final bills you present, and more. In that case, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to prove liability and receive the compensation you need to move on with your life.
A dash cam can make the question of liability clear as day. The camera will record whether the light was green, yellow, or red before you entered the intersection. It will also capture whether the other person even tried to slow down before they hit you. In short, dash cams can significantly simplify car accident claims and may help you settle the matter before you go to court.
How to Successfully File a Car Accident Insurance Claim
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, you’ll need to file an insurance claim regardless of whether you have a dash cam. Here’s how to file your claim and use the footage of the accident to prove liability:
- Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Once you’ve received appropriate medical care, the first step after any accident that leaves you seriously hurt should be to consult with a personal injury attorney. They will help you determine if you have a claim, calculate the compensation you should receive, and file the necessary documents on time.
- Collect and submit evidence with your claim. Let your lawyer know if you have dashcam footage of the accident. They will help you submit that video along with other evidence to the appropriate insurer to support your claim.
- Negotiate or take the matter to court. Once you and your attorney have submitted the appropriate documentation, the insurance company will either respond with an offer or deny the claim. Your lawyer will help you negotiate for fair compensation or pursue legal action depending on the situation.
Get Expert Help With Your Florida Car Accident Compensation Claim
Getting hurt in a car crash can lead to significant medical expenses. If you have a dash cam, that footage can be invaluable as you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. It’s in your best interest to work with an experienced car accident attorney to help you file your claim and submit the video as evidence.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Gomez & Gomez are available to help you fight for the compensation you need. We have years of experience advocating for accident victims in the Miami area. Contact us online or call (308) 825-2699 to learn more about how we can help you after you’ve been hurt in a crash.