Can You Use A Dash Cam As Evidence In Court?

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Dash cam videos are all the rage nowadays. Beyond their entertainment value on popular YouTube channels, though, you might be wondering if those videos are admissible as evidence in a court when there’s an auto accident. The short answer is “generally, yes,” but let’s take a look at some specifics surrounding dash cams and the variables that weigh on their utility in court to provide you with a more complete answer, shall we?

Dash Cams: The “What” And “Why”

First up, if you’re unfamiliar with what a dash cam is, you should know that the term is short for “dashboard camera.” At their most basic, dash cams are small devices that fit on the dashboard of your vehicle and record audio and video of the road ahead. 

More advanced dashboard camera systems might have multi-cam setups that simultaneously record the interior and road behind your vehicle. Others might even have GPS coordinates synced with the recorded footage and the capability to upload recorded video directly to a cloud server. As you can see, these systems can store a lot of data about what was going on when an accident occured, which is why so many wonder about their utility in court.

Dash Cams: Legality And Use In Court

By and large, dash cams are legal to install in your vehicle and the video that they record is admissible as evidence in court across the country, so your Redondo Beach personal injury attorney, Boulder lawyer for repeat DUIs, and just about everyone in between that deals with motor vehicles and the law is going to have at least some use for a dash cam video.

Let’s say, for instance, there’s a hit and run accident and the police can use your dash cam video recorded at the scene to track down the guilty party. Just as they would with traffic cams or surveillance cameras from nearby businesses, they will certainly want to see that video.

Similarly, if you have a civil case where another party is asserting that you damaged their vehicle in the collision and should be held responsible, a video showing clearly that you didn’t cause said accident would be of great benefit in clarifying how events unfolded, especially if said case went to a trial and that evidence was presented to a jury.

Just beware, though, because video evidence can cut both ways. Just as it can be used to exonerate you of fault in some situations, it can also show that you were in the wrong. 

What’s more, you’ll want to keep in mind that video evidence is only useful if it can show discernable details, so grainy, blurry, and otherwise unusable dash cam vids won’t be doing you (or anyone else) any favors.

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