When you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you will need to prove the accident was the result of the truck driver’s or another party’s negligence to obtain compensation. Dashcam footage can be a powerful piece of evidence that can help you prove what really happened.
An experienced attorney will be able to gather information from the truck’s dashcam and event data recorder (EDR) if you have reached out to them in a timely manner. The data recorder or black box can provide crucial information regarding the truck’s maintenance logs, speed and braking information, and other events leading up to the accident.
Time is of the essence because the negligent trucking company already has a head start over you and there is a possibility of the evidence or data getting lost or tampered with.
Importance of Dashcam Footage in West Virginia Truck Accident Claims
Truck accident claims are seldom straightforward. Even if you can prove the accident was the truck driver’s fault along with the liability of the trucking company, their insurance company may argue that your own negligence caused the collision (in an effort to reduce or deny compensation.)
Dashcam videos are often installed by trucking companies to increase the efficiency of their operations. Moreover, you can also use the footage to prove that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the truck driver and the trucking company and/or third-party vendors.
Dashcam in a commercial truck can record the following:
- That you were in your lane and going straight ahead in case of a rear-end accident.
- That you were driving at an appropriate speed.
- That you were sideswiped by the truck as they went by.
- That the truck traveling ahead of you swerved into your lane (if you have a front dashcam).
The dashcam can also be used for showing what happened immediately after the collision, such as:
- The truck driver’s apology.
- The truck driver’s hostility.
- Drug or alcohol impairment from the truck driver’s mannerisms.
Whether the truck driver can be held responsible or not for the accident will be proven by the dashcam video, making it a critical piece of evidence for both sides. Dashcam evidence is irrefutable if the footage is clear. It can determine whether you win or lose the case making it important to retain the services of a qualified truck accident attorney as quickly as possible.
Types of Dashcams Used in Commercial Trucks
Dashcams are not a federal requirement. Still, a growing number of commercial trucking companies are having these installed to monitor the behavior of their drivers and promote safety. There are two common types of dashcams used and each can provide a different type of evidence:
- Driver-facing dashcams: These are similar to the ones used in police vehicles. They record the truck driver’s actions and can be useful in showing distracted driving. They show whether the driver was engaged in any negligent behavior, such as fatigue driving, texting, or reaching for something in the cab right before the accident took place.
- Forward-facing cameras: These cameras record what is in front of the truck. The footage can prove whether the truck driver was tailing too closely to the car in front, was engaged in reckless driving, made an unsafe lane change, or something else.
Dashboard camera footage is important evidence in any truck accident claim. However, it’s highly unlikely that the trucking company will voluntarily provide you with this video. You may want to hire a reputable truck accident lawyer to preserve this and other vital evidence before it gets destroyed.
Evidence from the Truck’s Dashcam on Your Car
The dashboard camera video from the truck will only show one side of the event. Trucking companies usually review the footage to decide whether to settle everything out of court or take the case to trial. In instances where the fault of the truck driver is clear, the trucking company will try to settle things before the trial begins.
Authorities will be able to see both sides of the accident if you have a camera installed in your car. However, there are disadvantages to using dashcam footage since video evidence can be interpreted either way. This makes it critical to have a truck accident attorney represent your interests.
The video may show any of the following inept driving indicators:
- Listening to loud music
- Drinking while driving
- Eating while driving
- Adjusting settings on the infotainment system
- Looking away from the road
- Dialing the phone
The insurance company’s adjuster may argue that you were distracted while driving. They may use it to partly blame you for the accident and reduce or deny the claim. You should speak with a skilled truck accident attorney quickly following an accident.
You are in the Hands of a Fighter: Get Legal Representation from an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in West Virginia
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a big-rig truck accident, the dedicated attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., are here to help you obtain the financial compensation you rightfully deserve. We have helped numerous victims of truck accidents pursue fair settlements by gathering enough evidence to prepare a strong case and negotiate hard with the trucking companies and insurers.
We can help you understand all your legal options and aggressively represent you while remaining fully prepared to take the case to trial if necessary. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 800-497-0234 or write to us online.