Many people associate dashboard cameras with the police. Police departments across the nation have adopted dash cams as a way to protect both the officer and the public. What some people don’t know is that this technology has been falling in price and has reached the point where many private citizens are installing them in their vehicles.
Should you install a dash cam?
You might be wondering why you would want to install a camera in your car. There are several ways that you can benefit from having a visual and audio record of everything happening, particularly in the case of an accident.
- Accident disputes: In many cases, the facts of an accident are disputed by the parties involved, or the other driver’s insurance company. A dash cam may provide clear evidence of who is at fault in the accident.
- Hit and run: In the case where you are hit by another vehicle and he flees the scene, often the dash cam will capture video of the vehicle leaving, including the license plate, make and model. This information can be used to locate the owner of the vehicle, giving you the chance to pursue compensation if you were injured or sustained damage to your vehicle.
- Fraud: There have been cases of people trying to pull an insurance scam, for example by backing into your vehicle and claiming you were the one to hit them from behind. If you have a dash cam, you’re protected from this type of scam because you will have clear evidence of exactly what happened.
- While you’re not with your vehicle: Some models can be set to record even when you are not in the vehicle. This can be useful in cases when your car is hit while parked or vandalized. The vehicle or person causing the damage may be caught on video, enabling you to take action and seek compensation.
Sounds great, so what’s the catch?
There are many reasons why a dash cam can help you with a personal injury case or in other ways. The catch is that it assumes that you were driving safely and the other driver was negligent. That may not always be the case. For example, a dash cam may record your speed at the time of an accident, and although you may consider speeding by a few miles per hour over the limit to be not a big deal, the other side’s insurance company will likely use that information to shift some of the blame to you.
Of course, there also situations in which you may be at fault, in which case your dash cam won’t be much use to you and may even help make the other side’s case.
To cam or not to cam?
As always, my advice is to be careful on the road, drive safely and pay attention. Obey the laws of the road and a dash cam will always be on your side. Having one may make a big difference in determining whether or not you are able to receive a fair settlement for serious injuries you sustain in an accident.
What to do after an accident
Whenever you’re seriously injured, the first thing to do is seek the proper medical attention. Your health should always be your first priority. The next thing to do is think about your future and the future of your loved ones. The law, combined with insurance, should protect all of us from losses incurred due to someone else’s negligence. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that has led to some victims getting less compensation than they deserve, and some getting no compensation at all. Don’t take a chance with your future, trust your case to an expert.
Attorney Greg Bagen has been helping accident victims in Putnam County for 40 years. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, contact him now for a free consultation.