Are Dash Cams Helpful for Filming Crashes?

You have probably seen the dash cam videos on various social media platforms that show the moment right before and right after a vehicle accident occurs. Dash cams, as you might imagine, can provide useful information about incidents, particularly when working to determine liability. Here, we want to discuss whether or not dash cams are legal in California, as well as whether or not you can use this evidence as part of your vehicle accident claim.

Are Dash Cams Legal in California?

The good news is that dash cams are certainly legal in the state of California. However, there are various requirements in place in order for a dash Cam to be legal inside of the vehicle. This includes:

  • All dash cams must be smaller than 5 square inches if placed in the upper center of the windshield.
  • Dash cams can be up to 7 square inches if they are placed in the lower right corner of the windshield.
  • Dash cams can record sound in addition to video, but any passenger must be warned that their conversations are being recorded.

Most dash cam systems come with the availability of adding a rear camera that attaches towards the back inside of the vehicle. By having both a front and rear-facing camera, individuals are able to capture footage from their surroundings, which could come in handy depending on the type of collision that may occur.

How Can Dash Cam Footage Help?

Dash cam footage can be incredibly useful in the aftermath of a vehicle accident. In most cases, individuals are only able to take photographs of the aftermath of an incident, though this may not show a clear picture of how the accident actually occurred. When there is actual video footage involved, this video evidence can certainly back up a person’s claim that the other party caused the incident. In fact, video surveillance footage is often the slam dunk a person needs to win their claim against another driver.

However, it is crucial to ensure the integrity of the dash cam footage if you want to use it for your case. Dash cam footage cannot be altered in any way or tampered with. If it looks like dash cam footage has been edited in any way, this could lead to the footage not being admissible in a civil court case.

In addition to helping in the aftermath of a vehicle accident, dash cams can help protect California residents from fraud. There are times when individuals purposely cause accidents on the roadway in order to receive insurance money. For example, a person could pull their vehicle in front of you and then purposely slam on the brakes to try and get you to rear-end them. If a person has a dash cam on board, this may not prevent the accident, but it could help show exactly what happened and make this type of fraud less likely to succeed.

If you have a dash cam in your vehicle, you need to understand that this footage could also be used against you if you cause an accident. If another person knows that you have footage, they could go through the court system to subpoena the evidence and use it against you.