Can Dash Cam Evidence Be Used in Accident Cases in North Carolina?

July 23, 2020 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Can Dash Cam Evidence Be Used in Accident Cases in North Carolina?

Is Dash Cam Evidence Allowed in Car Accident Cases in North Carolina?

Dash cam evidence can be used in car accident claims in North Carolina, depending on the circumstances.

Yes, in most cases in North Carolina, dash cam video footage is admissible evidence in car accident cases. Dash cams have dramatically improved North Carolina car accident attorneys and juries’ ability to understand exactly what happened in a car accident — especially when the insurance company or at-fault driver denies liability.

Recent Increase in Dash Cam Use

With the help of technology, solving car accidents is now much easier compared to years ago.  Dashboard cameras, also known as dash cams, are becoming increasingly popular with drivers across the United States. There are a few reasons for the spike in dash cam use. The first reason is people want to minimize the risk of a “your word against mine” scenario. Many of our clients ask, “Can dash cam video be used as evidence in North Carolina?” The simple answer is that yes, dash cam video is allowed in most car accident cases in North Carolina, however it is important to understand that dash cam video can benefit the user of the dashcam and can also work against them.

Why Use a Dash Cam?

There are several reasons to install dash cams related to protecting your legal rights and strengthening your case in a potential North Carolina car accident claim. Dash cameras can allow you to:

  • Capture moments and details that you have missed or may not remember.
  • Challenge traffic tickets with more reliable evidence.
  • Drive with “extra eyes” (some dash cams have safety alerts).
  • Keep an eye on the car when it is parked.

Other reasons people use dash cams is to monitor and manage behavior of teenage children while behind the wheel of a vehicle. It can improve attentiveness among the young and save lives. Some also use dash cams to document road trips and scenic drives.

"Can I Submit Dash Cam Footage to the Insurance Company in My Car Accident Claim?"

Many insurance companies accept cell phone pictures of auto accidents and are now welcoming dash cam videos. These videos are helpful and show the details of the accident. However, dash cam footage can also prove the driver is not entirely innocent. If the camera shows you are driving above the speed limit or are distracted, this could harm your case.

Proving Fault

After an accident, the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence that the driver who hit you was at fault, negligent or reckless. It can be especially difficult in North Carolina car accident cases, where you must also overcome “contributory negligence,” a rule that can bar your claim to recovery if you are found to be event partially responsible for an accident.

For these reasons and more, hiring an injury lawyer can be important. A Riddle & Brantley car accident attorney is ready to prepare your case, help you navigate the system and even go to trial if necessary.

Capturing first-hand accident evidence, a dash cam can absolve you of blame in situations where you would otherwise be assumed to be at fault. This could be very important for your case. In many cases, we demand that the other party preserve all evidence from its vehicle which includes not only the camera video but also black box data, especially in commercial truck accident cases where this evidence is crucial. A number of our cases occur at intersections where businesses are located so we also immediately request preservation of all video evidence from adjacent businesses. This is crucial to our proof that the other driver was at fault and has helped us successfully win cases for our clients. Videos are part of life now as most businesses have them and most people have cameras on their phones.

Remember, if you are injured in a car accident in North Carolina, talk with an injury attorney right away. We can investigate the accident — including any dash cam footage — and help determine liability, as well as your best legal options and course of action for pursuing a claim.

For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a NC car accident lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111 today. We are here to help. Justice counts.

What is Dash Cam?

A dash cam is any device that attaches to your vehicle and records video footage of the road around you. Even smartphones can turn into dash cams by using certain apps. You only need a special mount for the interior of your car which allows the phone to record video of the road. Dash cams are growing in popularity. People are investing in driving smarter by benefiting drivers, bystanders, and all road users with the footage from dash cameras.

A mid-priced dashboard camera should record in high definition and have two cameras like a smartphone. The forward-facing camera will record the road in front of the vehicle and the rear facing camera will record the inside of the vehicle. Most dash cams now auto-start and stop because they are plugged into the cigarette lighter and turn on when you start your vehicle and turn off when you stop.

They usually record using an SD card and are on a loop, so if the recording space is full it will begin to record over the older footage leaving you with the most up-to-date data. These dash cams can also record the rate at which you accelerate and decelerate. This could work against you if you are in an accident and you were speeding.

Is a Dash Cam Worth It?

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One reason to get a dash cam is because memory can fade. A dash cam can save, download, and share video evidence. If you are in an accident, or something happens on the road while you are traveling, it is impossible to see or remember every detail. You may also be in shock or confused after a crash. Clear footage of what happened can be very valuable. In terms of insurance claims, a dash cam can help build a strong case in your favor.

Dash cams can also save lives. Many parents put dash cams in the cars their children drive. This can be a lifesaving move. With the camera recording the road and interior of the car, parents can later review the footage. Knowing the camera is rolling makes teens more aware of what they are doing and how they are driving. This can give parents peace of mind and save their young driver’s life.

Yes, dash cams are legal in North Carolina, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Dash cams are a relatively new technology and there are no current federal or state laws regulating their use. Truckers and law enforcement have been using dashboard cams for quite some time. However, a relatively small number of everyday drivers use dashboard camera technology.

Dash Cam Laws in North Carolina

There are general safety laws you must abide by if using a dash cam in the North Carolina.

Dash cams are mounted on the windshield, so it is important to make sure your vision is not obstructed. Also, North Carolina is a “one party consent” jurisdiction, meaning you may record a conversation without the other party’s consent if you are a party to the conversation. There are no similar restrictions for video footage of the road because a dash cam won’t pick up audio outside of your vehicle. Recording video of an event is less restricted under law than recording conversations. You can’t record a conversation unless you are a party to the conversation. In most situations, you can video and record as long as you aren’t violating a person’s privacy or the event is in the open public.

Public and Private Property

In many US states and cities, you do have the right to video record in public places, such as roads, where privacy is not expected. It is important to note that you cannot record on private property. An example of public property would be a supermarket or mall parking lot.

Can Dash Cam Footage Help in a North Carolina Car Accident Case?

$600+ million recovered since 2000 alone.

Yes, a dash cam can potentially help strengthen your case if you’re injured in an accident in North Carolina. However, it is important to remember it can also show you are fully or partially at fault in an accident.

A dash cam will record what you see on the road in front of you. This footage can be used to verify your version of events leading up to an accident. It can be very helpful in an auto accident case.

A dash cam can help you prove that another car ran a stop sign or red light or that the driver was driving recklessly. However, it is important to remember that a dash cam may work against you too. Depending on the type of camera you have, it may record you speeding, running a stop sign or using your phone.

In some cases, a police officer may seize your dash cam after an accident. Seizure of your camera may or may not be legal. Be sure to ask a North Carolina accident attorney to investigate the matter if your dashboard camera was taken after an accident.

“When Can I Use Dash Cam Evidence in a Car Accident Claim?”

Dash cam evidence can be used in all stages of a North Carolina auto accident claim. Dash cam evidence can be used in negotiations with an insurance company and may also be used in court.

Injured in a North Carolina Car Accident?

The accident lawyers at Riddle & Brantley are here to help.

Our car accident attorneys have more than 220 years of combined experience in personal injury law and can help you. Since 2000 alone, we’ve recovered over $600 million in combined compensation for our valued client (see disclaimer below), and we’d love to help you however we can.

We can gather the footage from dash cams in other vehicles that were running if you are in an accident as well as review footage from your dashboard camera.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 or fill out the short form below for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a North Carolina auto accident lawyer serving cities across the state.

“Riddle & Brantley got me all the available money from the insurance companies.”

David Howard, Riddle & Brantley client 

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You don’t have to do this alone. We understand what you’re going through and would love to help however we can.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your injury claim. You may be entitled to compensation, and you deserve justice.