In Texas, it matters who caused a traffic accident. Unlike the handful of no-fault insurance states, Texas operates on a modified comparative negligence insurance system for car accidents that allows injury victims to receive compensation as long as they were 50% or less at fault in an accident.
This means you can recover compensation for damages even if you were partly at fault, but the insurance company reduces the payout on your claim by your percentage of fault. For example, if your compensation for damages amounts to $100,000 but you are found to have been 20% at fault for the accident you’ll receive $80,000.
While the comparative fault system benefits accident victims by allowing them to seek a percentage of their total damages even if they contributed to the accident, it can sometimes benefit insurance companies who seek to assign victims a higher percentage of fault in the accident than they deserve. This helps to lower the amount they pay out and protects their profits over your best interests.
One important way a McKinney car accident attorney can find indisputable evidence of negligence, or recklessness in an accident to prove the other driver is at fault is to find video footage of the accident and the moments before the crash occurred. A diligent attorney understands all the ways to search out a video of the accident, including obtaining traffic camera footage.
Possibilities for Finding Footage of a Texas Car Accident
After a collision, there are several key ways to seek videos of the accident. While not every crash is captured on video, a growing number of accidents are caught in different types of video footage including:
- Traffic camera footage
- Dashcam video from one or more involved vehicles
- Footage caught on surveillance video from nearby homes or businesses
- Law-enforcement camera footage
- Cell phone video from eyewitnesses to the accident
Video footage of an accident is inarguably the best possible way to prove fault. Unlike eyewitness testimony or the testimony of those involved, video is impartial and reliable when determining the cause of an accident.
Obtaining Traffic Camera Footage
The Texas Department of Transportation has traffic cameras placed in key areas in nearly every Texas city. These cameras serve to update commuters on traffic congestion during commutes via live footage. This type of traffic camera exists in addition to red light cameras which the state no longer uses to ticket drivers, but may still record daily traffic.
An attorney can obtain traffic camera footage first by determining the owner of the camera. Traffic cameras may belong to the following:
- A state or local transportation agency
- A news organization or other business entity
- A private contractor
- Law enforcement agencies
In the majority of cases, simply asking for the footage promptly after an accident yields good results. Most government agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation, are willing to turn over copies of relevant footage. In other cases, a lawyer could use the following methods:
- Subpoena the footage from a private camera
- Seek out local business owners near the accident scene and ask for outdoor surveillance video from the time of the accident
How Does a Car Accident Attorney at Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law Help?
An experienced car accident attorney can pursue all possible means of obtaining camera footage of the accident in a timely manner before it’s erased or overwritten. Often, both government agencies and private individuals respond favorably to an attorney seeking camera footage rather than an unknown individual.
Your McKinney personal injury lawyer will also seek out the accident report, eyewitness testimony, photographs, and accident reconstruction specialists in order to prove negligence in a car accident and maximize the payout on your damages.