Can I Use Dash Cam Footage as Evidence in My Truck Accident Claim?

In order to obtain financial compensation for injuries arising from a commercial truck accident, you will have to prove that negligence on the part of the truck driver or a third party was the cause. Dashcam video footage can act as a strong piece of evidence that can help you establish liability for your damages. If you act quickly enough, a truck accident lawyer can retrieve information from the truck’s dashcam as well as its event data recorder, also known as a black box, which will provide critical details pertaining to the truck’s braking information, speed, maintenance logs, and other circumstances surrounding the crash. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp right away to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys. If you wait, there is a chance that important evidence could be tampered with or lost. 

How Can Dash Cam Footage Help My Truck Accident Claim?

Truck accident claims are rarely straightforward. Even if you are able to prove the truck operator’s fault as well as the liability of the freight company, their insurance carrier is going to argue that your negligence caused or contributed to the collision which, if successful, will bar you from collecting any financial recovery thanks to Virginia’s pure contributory negligence laws. 

Most modern commercial trucks are outfitted with dashboard cameras. The goal of these dash cams is to provide critical evidence in the event of an accident. Fortunately,  since a camera is an impartial observer, it records not only the negligent acts of other drivers but any negligence committed by the truck driver as well. 

Depending on the dash cam’s exact placement, it can record events leading up to the accident such as:

  • You were going straight and maintaining your lane during a rear-end accident.
  • You were obeying the speed limit
  • The truck sideswiped you went it passed you
  • The truck swerved into your lane  

A dash cam can also show what took place immediately after the crash, including:

  • The truck driver apologizing
  • The truck driver being aggressive or hostile
  • In some cases, whether or not the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Whether or not the truck driver is at fault for the collision could proven by dashcam video, making the footage a crucial piece of evidence for both sides. If the footage is clear, dashcam evidence is largely irrefutable. It can be the difference between winning or losing your case, making it essential that you speak with a qualified Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

What Kinds of Dash Cams Are Used in Commercial Trucks?

Although they are not a federal requirement an increasing number of freight companies are having dash cams installed in order to encourage safety behind the wheel and to monitor their drivers’ behavior. There are two types of dashcams that are commonly installed in commercial trucks, each of which provides a different style of evidence: They are:

  • Forward-facing dash cams: Forward-facing dashboard cameras record everything that happens in front of the vehicle. The video can prove if the truck operator was tailgating the car in front, engaged in aggressive driving, made an illegal lane change, or any number of other driving infractions. 
  • Driver-facing dash cams: Similar to the cameras mounted in police vehicles, driver-facing dashboard cameras record the truck operator’s actions. These cameras are especially useful in proving distracted driving. They can also show other forms of driver distraction, such as drowsy driving (nodding off, excessive yawning, etc.), texting, or looking for something in their cab that may have occurred moments before the accident happened.

Although it is vital evidence in almost any truck accident claim, it is extremely unlikely that a freight company is going to willingly hand over its dash cam footage. By partnering with a skilled Virginia Beach truck accident attorney, you can ensure that the dash cam footage and other crucial forms of evidence are preserved and documented rather than destroyed. 

Talk to a Virginia Beach Truck Accident Attorney

If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, the experienced Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. We have helped countless truck accident victims pursue fair settlements by collecting evidence, preparing compelling cases, and aggressively negotiating with freight companies and their insurers like we did when we secured a $2.4 million wrongful death settlement for the family of a man whose died after his vehicle was struck by a negligent truck driver. To schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team, call us at (833) 997-1774 or fill out our online contact form. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Hampton.