Assessing Legal Value of Video Footage

Both personal injury lawyers and insurance companies appreciate the extent to which video footage can add to the body of the collected evidence.

Where can video cameras be located?

These cameras are usually located outside of a place of business, such as a store, restaurant, at the edge of a parking lot, on a government building or even at an ATM machine.

Video footage might also come from a dash camera in a vehicle. However, in some states, lawyers cannot use the footage from a dash cam.

Value of video footage during claims process

It provides added information: A threatening gesture might be captured by the camera’s lens. Police might learn about a suspect’s escape route or disguise by viewing what had been on a reel that had come from a certain video or still camera. It could show whether or not a given claim was viable and could be used to prove fault.

Factors determining quality of footage

Weather conditions

Condition/age of technology used

The objects captured by the camera’s lens.

—If that lens were to capture a tree along the side of a street, it would be unable to get a view of what was behind the same tree.
—A lens would display any debris that had fallen on that same opening for the light. That could reduce the quality of the resulting photograph, or reel of tape.

The quality of footage from a dash cam also reflects the nature of the road conditions, unless the vehicle with a camera on its dashboard happens to be standing still. Of course, in a cold climate, if the driver had failed to turn on the defrost, then a frosted window could reduce the value of any captured footage.

Features associated with dash cams

Each of them starts working when the vehicle’s engine has been turned on. Each of them keeps working as long as the engine is running. In an automobile the dash cam has the same perspective as the driver. The footage reveals what happened at time of accident, but not how the observed events worked to cause the accident.

A camera on a dashboard is not like one that is focused on a public area. The owner of the vehicle has ownership of the camera’s footage. Legal means might have to be used, in order to seek possession of that same camera’s footage.

Still, the public has shown a readiness to provide law enforcement officers with access to any reels of film that happen to display valuable information. Unless the public would adopt a tendency to hide such pieces of evidence, the Personal Injury Lawyer in North Bay would not need to seize possession of cameras that appeared to hold valuable evidence.