Video footage isn’t limited to crime dramas and criminal court cases anymore.
More and more, experienced truck accident lawyers—like the ones at Lapeze & Johns—are fighting against negligent trucking companies that have harmed families on Texas roads with the help of video footage.
And we’re winning.
If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, or know someone who has, don’t forget to reach out to the Houston truck accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns. We understand exactly how we can obtain and utilize video footage to help you win your case.
Consider the following information regarding video footage and your commercial truck accident.
1. Video Footage Can be Obtained
While dashboard cameras aren’t legal in the state of Texas, that doesn’t mean that you can’t procure video evidence from somewhere else. Sometimes, it’s best to go directly to the source. If you were involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, that means getting video footage from the trucking company.
Though it can be an uphill battle, a dedicated lawyer will know exactly what it takes to get the necessary evidence. Most trucking companies install dash cams into the cab of their trucks. They use these dash cams to make sure that their drivers are abiding by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules and regulations, and other state laws.
But even if the commercial driver didn’t have a dash cam, there are still other options.
Traffic cameras monitor our Texas highways and traffic accidents as well. This video surveillance is a little more widely available, but getting the footage from the traffic agency still has its own set of challenges. There is still another way, however.
If your accident happened near a storefront, you may be able to obtain video evidence from the establishment. It isn’t a guarantee, however, as these are privately owned establishments.
In any case, while difficult to obtain at times, a dedicated truck accident attorney will understand what avenues are available and the manner to go by obtaining the necessary footage.
2. Video Footage Offers Many Legal Safeguards
Winning the compensation you deserve can be made more difficult by insurance companies that act in bad faith and trucking companies that are unwilling to admit fault. Even with compelling evidence, trucking companies will only admit a partial responsibility in an effort to save money.
With video evidence, however, it makes it harder for trucking companies and/or their insurers to claim that they were NOT the sole reason for the truck accident. Video evidence, in short, prevents frivolous liability defenses.
Video footage, no matter if procured from a commercial vehicle dash cam or a traffic cam, can give you the edge you need to dispute any claims the defense attorneys will sling at you regarding your driving habits or speed prior to the accident.
With video footage, it can be proven that you were abiding by the speed limit and driving responsibly.
3. Video Footage Can Help to Prove Who is Liable
It takes large amounts of money to repair the damage done to passenger cars, but it takes more than 10 times that amount to repair a commercial vehicle. In fact, most insurance companies insure passenger cars at around $60,000, where commercial vehicles are insured at $1 million. Needless to say, $1 million is a big reason why an insurance company would want to save money by deflecting the blame to you or minimizing your claim. They may even outright deny your claim.
While video footage is often intended to protect trucking companies by monitoring and correcting negligent driving behaviors, it can be used to your benefit against false claims of fault and bad faith insurance practices. Depending on the type of dash cam available within the cab of the commercial vehicle, you could prove how fast the driver was going, if he or she was driving in a distracted manner, or if you had the right of way.
This type of evidence breaks the vicious cycle of “your word versus mine,” ultimately making the ability to prove liability much easier. These high-tech versions of dash cams can show exactly where the accident occurred through a GPS system, the exact date, time, and even the force of impact.