Dash cams provide video evidence and there are times where that footage may be useful. Some examples are dangerous drivers, accidents, insurance claims, or just for fun as people do some crazy things behind the wheel. Your dash cam footage may exonerate you from an at fault accident or a speeding ticket. There are a lot of instances where it can help.
However, there are some things a driver should be aware of before submitting their dash cam footage to another party, insurance company, or the police. The video footage may have incriminating evidence and can be used against you so it is advised to consult with a lawyer before doing so.
Should I submit dash cam video?
In what situations should I consider submitting my dash cam video?
In the case of vandalism, theft, or a hit and run the dash cam footage should be submitted to the police and your insurance company. In many cases, you may be able to avoid paying a deductible or having it show up on your driving record. In addition, you may be able to recover the costs of the repairs from the guilty party. It can also help law enforcement to prosecute the individual as well.
For accidents, a dash cam video can help prove who was at fault. Video footage may exonerate you in an accident and many insurance companies accept it as evidence. It may speed up the claims process as well and avoid lengthy discussions or court appearances.
However, there is a downside to this as the video can be a double edged sword. An example would be if you were speeding and the car pulled out in front of you the dash cam footage could go against you even if you had right of way.
Another situation is a traffic ticket, your dash cam video can show you were not speeding at the time you got pulled over but the prosecution may point out you made an illegal lane change earlier.
Who will view your dash cam footage?
It depends on who you submit it to. If it is sent to an insurance company for a claim, it will likely be reviewed by your agent, claims department, and legal team. It may also be reviewed by the other party’s insurance company as well. In addition, it may be viewed by the police if there are legal proceedings.
If it is going to be used in court, the other party (or their legal team) in most cases has the right to review it. It may be examined for authenticity and if there has been any tampering or editing of the camera footage. You may be required to testify in court as well.
That’s why it is important to think first before sharing any video.
Is dashcam footage admissible in court?
In most cases, dash cam footage is admissible in court. However, the laws vary by location and where the video was recorded (public or private property). As a general rule if it was recorded in public, like a road where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, it is admissible. However, recording audio will depend on local laws and you may need consent from all parties involved including passengers and witnesses. This can be a more complicated matter although for insurance claims many times the audio can be edited out.
If you are going to use your dash cam footage in court as evidence you will want to verify the existing laws first. In addition, you may have to submit a copy to the other party or their legal team before the court date. As mentioned earlier, if you were doing something illegal at the time like driving over the speed limit it may be used against you.
Lastly, a judge may have the final say as to the admissibility of your video footage. If there are signs of tampering or editing there is a good chance it will inadmissible.
How do I submit my dash cam footage to the police or insurance company?
That will vary depending on who you are sharing it with and their policies. For example, if it is for a legal proceeding there may be specific procedures for it to be used as evidence. You may have to submit the memory card as opposed to the specific file and it may need to be reviewed for proof of tampering. That means you may be without a memory card for awhile and they may copy all of the videos including ones that have no relation to the incident.
For insurance companies, many times the video footage is sufficient especially if it is for determining fault. You might even be able edit out the audio. However, before sharing the video or doing any editing it is advised to check with the police, your insurance company, or a lawyer first to make sure there are no legal issues. It is recommended to have a back up copy as well.
As for sending it, generally speaking dash cam files are too large to send via email. In most cases you will have to make a copy and upload it to a file sharing service. However, it is not unheard of to have to send in the memory card as well.
How do I transfer video from my dash cam?
This will depend on the model of dash cam you have and if it has WiFi.
- If your dash cam has WiFi, all you have to do is connect your phone to the dash cam’s app, select the files, and transfer them to your phone.
- If your dash cam does not have Wi Fi you will have to remove the memory card and then transfer the files to your PC.