How Dash Cam Laws in California Can Impact Car Accident Claims
Dash Cam Evidence
Long gone are the days when witness testimonies were the most valuable evidence for settling car accident claims. Nowadays, whether it's a bystander with their cell phone, a surveillance camera in close proximity, or dash cam footage from the vehicle involved in the collision, most car accidents are usually armed with solid evidence that can be admissible in court. If you're considering installing a dash cam in your vehicle, we're certain you'll find value in the information you're about to read. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of dash cam for car accident claims and dash cam laws in California.
Car accidents involving multiple parties can take weeks, if not months, to resolve. Insurance companies investigate various elements such as traffic, weather conditions, and witness testimonies; however, when said testimonies begin to contradict one another, the investigation can quickly turn into a complicated matter. One of the many advantages of dash cam installations in vehicles could be the evidence a victim needs to settle a car accident case successfully. But keep in mind there are specific requirements for using dash cam footage as evidence, which is why consulting with a reputable car accident attorney after any collision is crucial.
Having concrete evidence, such as dash cam footage for car accident claims, can make or break a case. So what can be considered reasons for an insurance company or court dismissing such evidence? Ask a car accident attorney practicing California personal injury law to tell you.
Are Dash Cams Legal In California?
As of January 2011, dash cams are legal in California—with a few exceptions. The regulations and restrictions found in California Vehicle Code 26708 state the dimensions and location of where a dash cam can be placed, including every minor detail pertaining to the device. Interestingly enough, there's little information regarding another piece of data that can be recorded by dash cams—audio. For audio recordings legalities, we have to look at a completely different section of California law: Penal Code 632—more commonly known as eavesdropping laws.
Even though each case is unique and would require an experienced car accident lawyer to review the facts, here's a brief summary of what you need to know about dash cam footage in your car accident case:
Dash cam cannot exceed 7 sq. inches if placed in lower right-hand corner or 5 sq. inches if placed in upper center of windshield
Can only record 30 seconds before or 30 seconds after an event
Passenger consent must be obtained for audio recording
A police officer has the right to seize evidence at the scene of an accident, if necessary
Can Dash Cam Footage Be Used Against You?
Now let's consider the following scenario as a hypothetical example. You're an Uber driver and the victim of a hit-and-run accident. You had a passenger in the back who suffered minor injuries. Luckily, you had a dash cam installed a few days prior but failed to place a sign in your vehicle informing your passenger of an audio recording in progress. Further, it was discovered that the dash cam was not situated at the right angle, and the video quality was poor. Fortunately, the GPS feature recorded your speed, which proved you had not exceeded the limit during the crash.
There are several issues here, including the violation of California's two-party consent law. Although considered a crime, the unauthorized recording of a conversation may or may not be admissible in court if it involves a criminal case. Further, the lack of quality may not provide sufficient evidence to determine the at-fault driver. Proving negligence is not going to be a walk in the park in this case, but with the help of an experienced law firm in Los Angeles, your chances of obtaining a fair settlement are much more likely.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers
Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney who can walk you through the specifics of your case and help you navigate the legal landscape of California dash cam laws.
Yepremyan Law Firm has been a trusted legal advisor since 1998. We serve clients within Southern California and are available for a free consultation to evaluate your case. We offer 24/7 support—contact our office to schedule an appointment today.
*No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. These materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for legal advice pertaining to any particular legal matter. Use of and access to this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, or browser and Yepremyan Law Firm and any of its attorneys, employees, or associates.