Technology moves fast, and it is hard to keep up. This evolutionary flood of modern technology comes with tremendous advancements in video surveillance. City streets are full of cameras watching traffic. In addition, some security cameras watch over people’s porches and the surrounding streets, not to mention the endless supply of video footage from cell phones.
Among the many entities looking to take advantage of this endless stream of visual information is insurance companies. In order to prove or disprove liability, they will scour car crash scenes to find video evidence to use in a vehicle crash case.
An Atlanta car accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates will leave no stone left unturned while we are gathering information during a car crash investigation. Experienced car accident attorneys in Atlanta know how to be thorough and access the information that could be the key to recovering the full compensation you deserve for the damages you suffered.
Using Video Footage Legally as Evidence
Insurance companies often use video surveillance to gather evidence for car crash claims. As a matter of fact, insurance companies can be quite aggressive in obtaining recorded surveillance if it helps them avoid paying large settlements.
Georgia law does lay out some rules when it comes to attaining video surveillance. Videos cannot be used in certain situations, including:
- Obtaining the video surveillance illegally
- Paying someone to record video for the purposes of using it against the claimant
- Attempting to use unauthentic video footage
- If the footage is too blurry to make out what is happening in the video
Get the strong arm
The Means Behind the Insurance Company’s Methods
How extensive an insurance company’s investigation is depends on how costly they think the potential settlement will be. In cases with large settlements at stake, insurance agents may respond by scouring accident scenes, searching the surrounding areas for any evidence to help their case, and decreasing the settlement amount. Cameras capturing video evidence can be a crucial piece of evidence.
If a video is used as evidence in a car accident case, the insurance company should provide disclosure in advance. That is why it is so important for anyone involved in a car crash to be honest and forthcoming when filing an accident claim. If people are transparent about the causes of the accident and the extent of the injuries suffered, the claimant should have nothing to worry about.
Types of Video Footage Used as Evidence
Often when a car accident occurs, and it comes time to collect evidence to decide liability, the stories told by accident victims and insurance companies do not match. When disparities arise between the claimant’s account of events and the insurance company’s assessment, the settlement usually represents these discrepancies.
In these cases, an accident victim can consult with a car accident attorney and allow them to act on their behalf. To prove their client’s claim, the attorney will conduct their own investigation, analyzing data from various evidentiary sources, including:
- Eyewitness interviews
- Damage assessment to the vehicle
- Law enforcement reports
- Video footage of the accident or its aftermath
There are several types of video footage that may be available to use as evidence. Some of the sources for this footage may include:
- Dashboard cameras
- Residential security cameras
- Business security cameras
- Traffic cameras
Getting Access to Video Footage of an Accident
Even when an accident was not caught in the frame of the camera, video footage can still provide crucial details about how those involved in the crash were driving before or after the crash, like:
- The vehicles’ speeds before the crash
- Whether the brakes applied by the drivers involved in the crash
- How did the drivers respond after the crash
Accident victims and attorneys have just as much access to the available video footage and police reports as the insurance company does. In the course of a thorough investigation, all avenues should be evaluated for possible evidence to prove liability. To retrieve video surveillance from a personal or a business’s security camera, reevaluating the scene in person may be in order.
In 2020, the Georgia Department of Public Safety made it relatively easy by launching a web-based platform to search, review, request, and retrieve open records like traffic camera footage. Time is of the essence in these cases because businesses or home security systems do not usually retain video footage for more than a month. Sometimes footage is recorded over or dumped for more digital storage space.
Do Not Hesitate to Act After a Car Accident
The sooner you act after a crash, the better. If anyone has a possible recording of a crash, a lawyer can draft and deliver a preservation letter to make sure the relevant footage is retained and not tampered with. A request can also be made for the other driver to preserve and allow access to their vehicle’s electronic control module (ECM). This device’s data records whether the brakes were applied and the vehicle’s speed immediately prior to the accident.
In cases when the other driver does not stop or remain at the scene, an attorney can request 911 call logs and try to track down any possible witnesses that may have reported the accident. They can reach out to these witnesses to ask what they saw, if they took any pictures, or if they recorded any videos on their cell phones.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Atlanta Today
When an insurance company gets aggressive, you need a car accident lawyer in Atlanta with experience handling these types of insurance companies. Trusted representation will advise you never to consent to give a statement or other evidence without their guidance. Do not give an insurance company any evidence they can use against you.
Statements and evidence can be manipulated and used out of context. Insurance companies have plenty of tricks they can use to win cases. An experienced Atlanta car accident attorney will draw the line on these types of maneuvers and work to protect your legal rights.
At John Foy & Associates, we have the wherewithal to stand tall against the insurance companies and use our more than 20 years of experience to get you the compensation you deserve. If you have been a car crash victim because of someone’s negligence, contact us today for a free consultation.