What Is a Dashcam?


Video footage from dashcams has helped people filing insurance claims prove they were not at fault for a car accident for approximately a decade in the U.S. But what is a dashcam? A dashcam (short for dashboard camera) is a front-facing camera mounted to your windshield that offers video recording and additional features.

Is Dashcam Video Footage Permissible for Insurance Claims or in Court?

Dashcam footage must be authenticated, meaning the footage must be raw without any cuts or edits. Things you may be required to do in order to authenticate the video are: swear under oath that the video footage is authentic and unedited, that you had control over the video, that what is displayed in the video is true and accurate, the video recording must clearly show information about the accident as it directly relates to the case.

In filing insurance claims with your insurance company, review your policy to determine whether your insurance company will accept dashcam footage for its claim procedures. If your insurance company denies your claim, you can use qualifying footage in court to help a jury determine the negligent party’s liability.

You may be able to pursue punitive damages if your dashcam shows the other driver was intentional, abusive, or malicious in their behavior leading up to the accident. In Florida, while you may use dashcam footage to support your claims, the footage would not be a deciding factor in the jury’s judgment.

What Features Should a Good-quality Dashcam Have?

There are three popular dashcam styles. Basic models are front-facing cameras that record everything happening through the front windshield of your vehicle. Mid-range dashcams offer front- and rear-facing cameras. The rear-facing camera will also capture what is happening inside the vehicle and what is visible through the windows and rear windshield.

Most models mount directly to the inside of the front windshield or onto your existing rear view mirror. Be aware that dashcams are not allowed to block the driver’s view. This makes rear-view mirror dashcams a popular choice. These models clip onto the back of your rear-view mirror with a front-facing camera. Your insurance premiums may decrease with any of these dashcam models.

Features to consider include:

  • G-sensors
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Loop video recording
  • Night vision
  • GPS tracking
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Audio recording
  • Parking mode
  • HD quality
  • Easy installation and functions
  • Memory

Can Law Enforcement Require Me To Show Dashcam Footage?

After an accident, you need to call 911 to have the police respond so you can file a proper report. When the police arrive, they might notice your dashcam and ask to see the footage. Do you have to show it to them?

You do not have to show a law enforcement officer or anyone else the footage on your dashcam if they ask without a search warrant or court order. While they may be able to confiscate your equipment under “exigent circumstances,” they cannot view, delete, or tamper with any footage without a warrant or subpoena. However, if you did nothing wrong, it could help your potential injury case by showing the footage to the investigating officer.

Contact a South Florida Car Accident Attorney

We’re with you all the way. You can download our app to get a checklist with steps to take after your accident–the next best thing to having an attorney at the scene. We work to ensure that you understand the entire process and receive the full care that you need.

Contact an experienced South Florida car accident attorney for a crash in Palm Beach and the surrounding Counties. Call the Law Offices of Shannon J. Sagan, PA, at 561-DASHCAM or contact us online for a free consultation.

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