If a car accident occurs on a deserted highway through a wooded area at night, chances are, you won’t find video footage of your accident without a dash camera. However, the majority of Texas car accidents happen at busy intersections and that increases the likelihood that your accident was caught on video. Most intersections and many highways in Texas have traffic cameras in place so the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) can monitor traffic. City streets lined with businesses not only frequently have city-run traffic cameras, but many businesses have security cameras that commonly capture digital footage of accidents.
When at-fault drivers won’t admit to their traffic mistakes and eyewitnesses give conflicting stories or are vague on the details of an accident, obtaining digital proof that someone else was at fault in your accident can be essential to support your case.
How Does Video of an Accident Help a Claim?
Whereas the testimony of an involved driver and witnesses can be misleading or faulty, video doesn’t lie or make mistakes. Getting the traffic camera footage, a nearby business’s surveillance recording, or even Ring Doorbell footage can prove your case beyond a doubt; however, obtaining footage of an accident can be challenging. Fortunately, most Texas car accident attorneys know where and how to find the footage you need to prove your case. Having video of the actual accident can make all the difference in the necessary proof you need to show the following:
- How the accident occurred
- Who was at fault or the most at fault in the accident
Proving fault is the most important part of any accident claim. Once the at-fault person is identified, they are liable for damages and their insurance company must pay out on the accident victim’s claim. In order to gain an insurance settlement or court award in an accident case, proving fault is the first step. After this, the injury victim must also prove the following:
- That the accident caused by the liable person directly caused your injury
- That the injury caused you property damage and physical harm
- That the physical injury caused you tangible economic losses including medical bills and lost earnings
- That the accident and injury also caused pain and suffering
- In some cases, you can also show that the accident caused non-economic effects such as PTSD, emotional trauma, or loss of consortium (the loss of a close and/or physical relationship with a loved one)
How Can I Get Traffic Camera Footage of My Accident?
It’s important to act quickly on requests for traffic camera footage or surveillance footage from local businesses and home Ring cameras. Many of these digital records are deleted or overwritten within days of an accident. An experienced accident attorney can help collect this footage through resources and contacts such as requesting traffic camera footage and security video directly from TxDOT, businesses, and Ring Doorbell accounts. At times, state agencies and other responsible parties require a subpoena to release this footage. While homeowners and businesses are typically willing to release their footage in order to help accident victims, working through your attorney often helps to move people to more helpful action in a timely manner to prove your case.
Having video of an accident can be crucial in cases when an at-fault person refuses to admit blame in an accident or when there is a liability dispute. Without the footage, attorneys can rely on other means such as eye-witness testimony and reports by accident reconstruction specialists; however, the irrefutable nature of the actual video of the accident is by far the most compelling evidence in any accident claim.