Trial Attorney at Gina Corena & Associates
Practice Areas: Personal Injury
The popularity of dashboard cameras (dash cams) has been steadily increasing over the last several years, and the trend is expected to continue well into the future. By recording actual events, dash cams footage can quickly determine the truth of a claimed situation and helps to eliminate instances of fraud and misrepresentation.
While dash cams play a pivotal role in recording events, it’s equally crucial to understand the legal procedures that follow certain incidents. For instance, if you’re ever involved in a legal case, knowing what to expect during a deposition stage can be invaluable.
Similarly, if you’re in Vegas and face an automotive issue, it’s beneficial to be aware of the steps to take before visiting a car lawyer. Moreover, understanding the impact of a ticket accident can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system more effectively.
In some states, it is specifically legal to use a dash cam and in other states, there are no laws regarding their use. No state specifically prohibits motorists from using dash cams. States that regulate the use of dash cams do so by limiting the allowable size and by specifying how the dash cam must be placed within a vehicle.
Authenticated dash cam footage is considered a reliable, unbiased version of the events it records during an accident and can provide credibility to an injured party’s account of the crash.
Nevada laws do not specifically address the use of dash cams. They do prohibit placing anything on the front windshield of a vehicle that will obstruct the driver’s clear view of the roadway. But there is an exception for something to be placed in a six-inch square in the bottom corner of the windshield on the passenger side.
Because more and more drivers are using dash cams, police who are investigating car accidents are likely to be aware of the presence of a dash cam. In Nevada, law enforcement investigating a car accident may confiscate a dash cam if they believe it contains important evidence which could be damaged or lost if not collected from the driver at the scene.
Although authorized to take a dash cam into evidence under ‘exigent circumstances,’ police are not allowed to view the contents of the dash cam without first obtaining a warrant.
Dash cams usually record events taking place in front of a vehicle, but some may record events inside and behind a vehicle as well. Most are also capable of recording sound. The information recorded is stored either on a memory card or can be transmitted to a digital storage facility.
Dash cams are usually programmed to start when a vehicle is turned on and some have sensors that begin to record when certain motions around the outside of a vehicle are detected. Recording times vary in length based on the amount of available memory, and many dash cams record in a loop erasing older content to allow the recording of new content.
Dash cam recordings of events happening outside a vehicle are not protected by any privacy laws and can therefore be used as evidence in a car accident claim without needing anyone’s permission. But events recorded by a dash cam that occur inside a vehicle are subject to the protection of privacy laws. Privacy laws prohibit people from making certain private information public without getting the proper authority.
Nevada law prohibits the recording of private conversations unless at least one of the persons involved in the conversation authorizes the recording. The state’s laws also prohibit capturing any imagery of a person in an area of privacy when both of the following are true:
The interior of a vehicle is generally considered to be an area of privacy but the protections are not as strong as those afforded to the inside of a person’s home because the expectations of privacy are greater within a home.
Often, whether dash cam footage capturing events going on inside a vehicle can be used as evidence will depend on what the circumstances suggest was reasonable for the occupants to expect with regard to their privacy while the device was recording.
Sometimes a person injured in a car accident believes another motorist has dash cam evidence that would help to prove their claim. Dash cam footage is generally considered owned by the person who owns the dash cam. If the dash cam recording tends to incriminate the owner in an accident there is little incentive for the person to provide the information without a court order.
Pursuant to a proper legal request, a person who is in possession of dash cam footage containing information relevant to a car accident investigation must turn over the original recording. Any attempt to alter the recording in any way can result in criminal penalties.
Dash cam evidence, no matter who benefits from the footage, helps to resolve car accident claims by letting investigators view what actually happened instead of having to piece together the events based on post-crash circumstances and the recollections of others.
Evidence obtained by a dash cam is also of benefit when making a personal injury claim for the following reasons:
Following a recent crash in Florida between a semi-truck and two passenger vehicles that were stopped along the roadway, dash cam evidence proved the truck driver was lying about how the accident happened. The truck driver had reported to Florida Highway Patrol that his right front tire had blown out causing the truck to dip, resulting in the crash. However, upon reviewing the dash cam footage from the truck’s own dash cam, investigators could clearly see the truck’s driver falling asleep at the wheel moments before the accident.
As more and more drivers equip their vehicles with dash cams, people are increasingly aware of the possibility of having their driving actions recorded. People who are aware that someone may be judging their behavior tend to pay more attention to what they are doing and are more concerned with getting it right. Traffic accident statistics consistently show that fewer accidents happen when drivers pay more attention to driving safely.
If you’re looking for a Las Vegas car accident law firm that can provide the legal representation you need, look no further. Our team of experienced attorneys has a proven track record of success in helping clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.
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