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Are Dash Cams Useful In An Accident?


Are Dash Cams Useful In An Accident?You may be pondering this question if are considering mounting a camera to your dashboard. Will it help with my insurance company or in court? Let’s explore the legality and potential benefits of the dash cam.

Dash cams are meant to record everything that happens when you drive. They can cost you anywhere from $60 to $150, depending on features and quality. The camera starts recording as soon as you start your car, taking video from the driver’s perspective. Some of these cameras are capable of recording in night vision and/or with sound. Ones with GPS can tell you the location where something was recorded.

Some people feel these cameras are an invasion of privacy, but there are no U.S. federal laws against recording from a dashboard-mounted camera. However, states do have their own laws that should be consulted before readily applying a dash cam with all of the bells and whistles. Generally, recording in parking lots and on public streets is fine if you are only taking video. Audio can be considered wiretapping, so you may need the consent of any passengers in your vehicle, or you may need to just disable that feature.

In Florida, you are required to have the consent of all parties before recording. If you don’t have permission to record audio from your passengers, they could pursue a civil suit or criminal prosecution.

When installing a dash cam, it is also important to make sure it does not obstruct your view as a driver. You can check with your local jurisdiction for any laws on how much space a camera or GPS device can take up, but generally, make sure it is 5 or less inches on all sides when mounting on the driver’s side, or no more that 7 on the passenger’s side.

Benefits Of The Dash Cam

Now that you know the legality of the dash cam, let’s explore its potential benefits. There are some insurance companies in the UK offering discounts to customers with dash cams installed in their vehicles. However, U.S. companies are not onboard yet. This is because they are not safety features or capable of preventing accidents. Insurance companies tend to offer lower rates when customers have a record of safe driving, or there are specific devices in the vehicle to enhance safety, such as airbags.

However, dash cams may be useful in providing evidence to your insurance company in the event of an accident. It is similar to taking pictures of the damage. It may or may not help determine fault, but an auto insurance provider could see the severity of the impact and the result of the impact, if caught on tape. The usefulness of the footage depends on how much was captured, and it is up to the individual adjuster on your claim how they use it, if at all.

If legal action is taken after the accident, your lawyer can review the footage and determine if it is helpful to your case. The units with GPS capabilities, or ones that can even measure your G forces inside the car may be admissible and quite beneficial in court.  If anything, the dash cam may help corroborate your story, any witness statements, or discredit the other party’s account. Because the camera only captures the events happening in front of your car, it won’t always be useful in determining fault or damages. Always take pictures and follow usual procedures after an accident. Consult with an attorney if needed, and be prepared to hand over any evidence, including the video footage.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Are Dash Cams Useful In An Accident?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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