Is Dashcam Footage Acceptable as Evidence in a Car Accident Claim?


Car dashcamIncreasingly, drivers are outfitting their vehicles with dashcams. These tiny cameras record what is happening in front of the car and are important for insurance claims. Some cars are even outfitted with cameras in the rear, which can show traffic behind the car.

At Ladah Law Firm, we have used dashcam footage in many car accident cases. We find the footage helpful in many, but not all, cases. If you’ve been involved in a crash, contact our Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney to discuss the crash and possibly view the footage.

Are dashcams legal in Nevada?

Yes! Your car might already come with cameras installed. Or you could install a dashcam yourself. It is legal so long as it doesn’t obstruct the windshield. Because these cameras are usually very small, they shouldn’t.

Can you use dashcam footage in a car accident case?

Yes. Dashcam footage is no different than other types of evidence, like photographs. You might use the evidence if it supports your claim.

If you go to trial, you’ll need to authenticate the dashcam footage. For example, you probably need to testify that you installed the camera on your dash or bought the car with the camera already installed. You then need to testify that it recorded the road in front of you.

Authentication isn’t that difficult, and your Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help.

Are there limitations to dashcam footage?


Yes. Although people think video shows “reality,” it is only a partial view of reality. Dashcams don’t always capture everything that’s relevant. For example, if you are close to an intersection, it might not catch the color of the light directly above you. This might be an important fact in dispute—whether you had a green or red light.

Dashcams also can’t show what’s happening to your side. If you were injured in a sideswipe, the dashcam might not show the car hitting you or other details that could be helpful.

Still, dashcams are excellent pieces of evidence and we encourage anyone with a dashcam to tell their lawyer of that fact.

When is dashcam footage most helpful?

This evidence is often very helpful in head-on collisions, because it can show that you were in your lane but another car was drifting over the center line before hitting you. Dashcam footage can also show someone pulling out of a driveway or parking lot directly in front of you.

Another reason to use dashcam footage is to identify the car that caused an accident. It can capture the license plate number of a hit-and-run vehicle, for example. This is an excellent reason to use dashcam footage as evidence.

Remember that dashcam footage might come from a car that isn’t even involved in an accident. Maybe a car behind you captured the collision, and the driver tells you they have a dashcam. Always make note of that fact and follow up with the driver to obtain a copy.

Can a dashcam footage help with my rear end collision?

It depends. If you are the car that got rammed, then it might not really help establish fault. That’s because you could have hit the brakes for no reason, causing the motorist behind to run into you. The dashcam won’t show if you are braking.

However, if you are the car behind, then the dashcam will easily capture whether the car in front of you hit the brakes without warning. It will also show whether you were tailgating or not.

What if my memories conflict with the dashcam footage?

It depends on what you remember. Dashcams can’t capture everything. For example, you might notice you were driving on black ice before the collision. The dashcam might not be able to capture that because black ice looks a lot like asphalt.

Also, dashcams are notorious for having the wrong date and time on them. The same is true of old digital cameras, which often had the wrong date. Your testimony can help clear up the confusion, however.

Should I save dashcam footage?

Yes. Some systems will only save the video for a short period of time. Immediately following the accident, you should download or otherwise preserve the footage. Also remember to tell your attorney about it so they can review.

Will I win my case if I have dashcam video?

It depends on what the video shows. You can prevail in a car accident case if another driver is at fault for the crash. Dashcam footage might help establish fault—or it might not. We rely on many different categories of evidence to establish fault, including eyewitness testimony and physical evidence. We use dashcam footage if it is helpful.

Can police seize my dashcam video?

They need legal permission before they can take anything from you. Of course, they can always ask if you are willing to share. It is perfectly legal for them to seek your consent.

If you don’t consent, then police will need a warrant supported by probable cause before they can take your dashcam footage.

Can the police copy my dashcam footage?

This is not much different than seizing it. They need your consent or probable cause with a warrant. You should also make sure they pay to make the copy.

Can I use my cell phone as a dashcam?

You might be able to if you can mount it on the dash. There are many websites with tips on how to turn an old smart phone into a dashcam.

However, you absolutely shouldn’t hold your phone and record while driving. This might qualify as distracted or even reckless driving and could result in criminal charges. If you want a dashcam, you should review the most recent models available and see if you can buy one for an affordable price.

Can the other driver use my dashcam footage against me?

Possibly. It depends on what the footage shows. Imagine you drifted over the center line and crashed into a car. The driver of the car you struck probably wants to use the dashcam footage to show that you were negligent in departing your lane. That’s the risk of having a dashcam—it might show you are at fault for a collision.

Can I delete dashcam footage if it’s not helpful to me?

You shouldn’t delete any footage that might be relevant for a lawsuit. That would be a crime. Instead, simply share your video with your attorney. They can review the footage and analyze how it helps or hurts your case. Remember, dashcams don’t capture everything that is happening.

Can I win a case if I don’t have dashcam video?

Yes. Dashcam usage is fairly recent. We have deep experience with car accident cases and can help you win your case even if there isn’t video of the crash. In fact, most car accidents we handle don’t have dashcam footage. If you were hit in Las Vegas, a nearby business might have surveillance video which captured the accident. Or we can use other evidence.

Contact Our Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer Today

Ladah Law Firm had decades of experience using the most recent technology to help our clients. We have used dashcam footage to establish fault for a collision and increase the amount of compensation our clients receive. We are also skilled at pointing out the limitations in footage when the other side tries to use it against us.

To learn more, please contact our Las Vegas accident lawyers at the Ladah Law Firm, (702) 252-0055, to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.