If you have been in a car accident, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. One of the best ways to do this is by obtaining CCTV footage of the accident.
CCTV, or Closed Circuit Television, is used by police forces and insurance companies to get a clear view of what happened in an accident, and often helps clarify who was at fault. While it can’t always be used as evidence if you decide to take your case to court, it is very helpful when making a claim for repairs or compensation.
It is especially helpful in hit-and-run scenarios, where there is only one person’s side of the story available for your claim.
Contact a Florida car accident lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. Our attorneys know how to get the CCTV footage of a car accident that you need to make your case.
Types of Cameras that Capture Car Accidents
There are a few different types of CCTV cameras that are best suited for capturing car accidents. This guide will explore each type so you understand what kind of footage you can request from your car accident.
Traffic Cameras and Red Light Cameras
Traffic cameras are located at intersections throughout the country. These cameras are generally always recording and capturing footage of any car that runs a red light or crosses over into another lane where it shouldn’t be.
If you are looking to access traffic camera footage without the help of an attorney, your chances will be slim. You’re going to have a difficult time getting any video from these cameras due in large part because they’re owned by different entities with specific requirements for releasing their videos and data.
Some state highways belong solely under the Department of Transportation while others can fall under toll authority as well.
Private Business Surveillance Systems
Many businesses have surveillance cameras to protect their property. The footage from these cameras can be helpful in car accident cases.
If you are involved in a car accident that occurred at a private business, it is best to contact the business owner and ask for the footage. Although they have no obligation to release it to you, many will in good faith.
However, some larger businesses have specific stipulations before releasing this footage. Your car accident lawyer will know how to navigate these parameters to ensure you get the footage you need.
Dashcams and Body Cams
Dashcams offer the car’s perspective of the accident, while body cameras often show the officer’s point of view when they are talking to each party involved or investigating the scene.
Police dash camera footage is generally only released by police departments when proper procedure is followed, including identifying the officer by name and badge number.
It’s important to remember that dashcams are not always recording. When they are, they may record over old footage. That’s why it’s vital to request these videos quickly.
Increasingly, civilians now have personal dash cameras. If you were in an accident and have footage of it on your dashcam, be sure to save the video and contact a car accident lawyer.
If you’re unsure if there is dashcam footage, ask the witnesses if they have a personal dashcam. If they do, request a copy politely. Again, they have no obligation to provide it.
How do I get the CCTV footage of my car accident?
Although car accident-related footage is often difficult to obtain, it can be even more complicated if you’re not the one who caused the accident. This is especially true when you’re trying to get CCTV footage of a car accident that occurred on private property.
The best way to get the CCTV footage will depend on what the source of the footage is.
For example, to get CCTV dashcam footage from police, you will need to file an open records request with your local police department. This will allow you to access footage that was captured by any dashcams in the area of your car accident for a particular time frame.
For businesses with surveillance cameras, you will need to contact the store owner or manager about releasing the footage. If the individual you need to speak with is not available, contact a car accident lawyer to help you navigate these obstacles.
Remember that if your car crash was related to a red light camera or traffic camera, you should contact a car accident lawyer. There is a negligible chance of you getting this footage on your own.
Need help getting CCTV footage of your car accident?
If you have been in a car accident, you need all of the evidence available to help prove your case for damages. Footage from CCTV cameras can be an invaluable source of evidence in car accident cases. However, obtaining this footage can often be difficult, especially if you are not a lawyer.
A car accident lawyer will help you get the CCTV footage of your car accident, no matter how it is stored.
The car accident lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can help. We have years of experience in dealing with private and police surveillance systems. Call us today to get started on your case.
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