Dashcams, or dashboard cameras, are becoming very popular in Illinois. These cameras are used for many different reasons, including capturing on-duty police officers, or to obtain footage of careless or reckless drivers. Dash cameras also sometimes provide important evidence in car accident claims, as they can clearly show how the crash occurred, and the driver who acted negligently and caused the collision. The evidence obtained from a dash camera can help your claim, but it is also important to know how it can hurt it.
The Illinois Vehicle Code does not specifically mention dashboard cameras or for that matter, any other type of recording device in a vehicle, such as a cell phone. Generally speaking, it is legal to use a dashcam in Illinois, but there are restrictions on them. For example, when the dashcam is installed on the driver’s side of the vehicle, it cannot be any larger than five square inches.
Dash cameras do not only capture what is going on outside of the vehicle, but also what is happening within it. This is of particular importance to understand if your dashcam captures audio as well as video. Illinois is a two-party state, which means that before you record someone, you must obtain their consent, particularly when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. As such, you should always tell anyone that enters your vehicle that a dashcam is in use.
Video footage is not always easy to obtain after an accident. After all, crashes on the road happen in an instant, and they are unexpected. Drivers are not likely to have other types of video set up before an accident even happens. In some situations, an injury attorney can subpoena the video footage from nearby businesses, but that is not always the case and even when possible, that surveillance does not always show the entire scene. As such, a dash cam can be of great help in proving your claim.
However, it is just as important to note that any evidence captured on a dashcam can also be used against you. If you were partly negligent and caused or contributed to the accident, the other side can subpoena your video footage if they learn you have a dashcam. If they use your own video footage against you, it may reduce the total damages you can recover afterward. It is important to work with an Illinois injury attorney who can defend against these claims and protect your best interests.
If you have been in an accident while using a dash camera, or you believe the negligent party used one, our Illinois car accident lawyers at Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. can advise on your case. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
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