How Your Attorney Might Use Dashcam Footage After a Truck Crash

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Dashcam Footage Is a Potentially Valuable Source of Evidence for a Washington Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were in a collision with a large commercial vehicle—and the incident wasn’t your fault—you have the legal obligation to prove the truck operator was negligent before you’re even offered a dollar of compensation in a personal injury claim. There are various sources of evidence to prove what caused the accident—for example, if the semi, tanker, or big rig had a dashcam,  this footage may be used in your case. 

But first, you need to take steps to ensure that the trucking company preserves the footage. At Max Meyers Law, we have a strong commitment to representing clients the right way, doing everything in our power to get justice for you while staying true to our own ethos

How a Dashcam Works

Trucking companies often install dashcams and other small cameras at various points around a commercial vehicle. These devices are usually automatically activated when a driver starts the vehicle. There are many reasons various cameras are used, including:

  • Safety and accident prevention
  • Risk management and liability protection
  • Driver training and performance evaluation
  • Vehicle and cargo security 
  • To prove compliance with regulations and industry standards

The trucking company may believe that dashcam footage could be used for its benefit to protect it from liability if you file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the dashcam could also show if a trucker violated certain rules, such as making an illegal lane change or driving while distracted. A driver may even have the ability to edit the footage, which could remove vital proof of their negligence. 

Nonetheless, obtaining this evidence may still be helpful to your case. However, a trucking company isn’t going to simply hand it over—a knowledgeable attorney will have to request it.

How Dashcam Evidence May Affect Your Truck Accident Case

You can understand why the trucking company would have an incentive to fail to preserve key evidence in your case, including dashcam footage. But as soon as you hire a truck accident lawyer, one of the first things we do during the discovery process is send a letter directing them to preserve all relevant evidence in anticipation of litigation. 

On notice of your potential lawsuit, the trucking company could face serious consequences if it fails to maintain or even destroy relevant evidence. It could even be sanctioned or face higher chances of significant damages. 

In order to secure the compensation you deserve, your semi-truck accident attorney will collect dashcam footage and other evidence needed to fulfill the following components of a personal injury claim:

  1. The semi-truck driver and other defendants owed you a duty of care.
  2. The truck operator and other defendants acted negligently.
  3. You were injured.
  4. The defendants’ negligence caused your injuries.
  5. The court can award damages for your injuries.

Even if your lawyer interviews eyewitnesses to the crash, a fleet company might tell a different story that contradicts their story and your own. However, dashcam footage may serve as evidence of what really happened. Unfortunately, although this evidence is usually admissible in court, it still might not be conclusive. While it could show actions like how a commercial vehicle operator turned or steered, it might not quantify things such as how fast they were traveling at the time of the collision. 

Steps to Take After a Washington Truck Accident

As we’ve stated, one of the first things that you need to do is hire an experienced truck accident attorney. There are many things happening in the days after such a devastating collision that require you to have legal help. Your lawyer needs to begin an immediate and prompt investigation of the crash, gathering all the evidence necessary, including potentially viable dashcam footage, to prove liability in your case. Your legal team also communicates with others on your behalf, including trucking company representatives, insurance adjusters, eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, and others. And if you have any relevant evidence in your possession, it’s essential to preserve it and give it to counsel right away so we can use that, too. 

At the same time, you need to tend to your health. If you’ve suffered severe accident injuries, as often happens in collisions with multi-ton vehicles, both your well-being and your legal case depend on prompt medical treatment, thorough follow-ups on all directives and medication, and other critical aspects of care. Insurance adjusters analyze every aspect of what you do, so make sure you save all documentation related to medical care. This information not only tracks the depth of your semi-truck accident injuries but also provides detailed facts of their impact—and acts as another form of evidence we’ll use to build your case and assign value to your potential compensation.

Finally, don’t try to handle the details of a commercial truck accident on your own. We also encourage you not to speak with insurance adjusters or provide a recorded statement until we’ve outlined critical factors in your case. A truck company’s insurance team is often quite aggressive and will do all it can to compromise your legal rights. The sooner you call our professionals at Max Meyers Law, the greater the chance we can work quickly and with due diligence to get the results you deserve

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.