Dashcam footage can potentially be used as evidence to prove (or disprove) negligence in a Massachusetts car accident case.
Have you been injured in a Massachusetts car accident? If you file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your accident, your chances of securing compensation from their insurer will be greater if you gather evidence proving negligence.
This evidence can take many forms. For example, perhaps your vehicle is equipped with a dashcam that was recording footage when your accident occurred. It’s possible this footage could serve as useful evidence in your case. This guide will help you better understand how.
Dashcam Evidence & What You Need to Know About the No-Fault System in Massachusetts
The way in which a car accident victim will go about pursuing the compensation for which they may be eligible will vary from one state to another. For example, in states that use the fault or tort system, when someone is harmed in a car accident resulting from another party’s negligence, they must seek compensation by filing a claim to collect from the negligent party’s insurance. If the negligent party does not have insurance, or if their insurance provider denies a claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, a victim may file a lawsuit to seek damages in court.
Massachusetts is one of a few states that uses the no-fault system regarding car accidents and claims. In a no-fault state, a car accident victim will usually begin seeking the compensation they may be owed by filing a claim to collect from their own insurance. This is the case even if their accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness.
Thus, if you are attempting to recover financial compensation after a car accident in Massachusetts, it might not be necessary to prove negligence was a factor.
However, it’s possible the amount of compensation your insurer provides will not be enough to genuinely compensate you for your losses when the full extent and severity of your injuries and damages are accounted for.
If this happens, you might be able to secure additional compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your accident. This is an option if it can be shown that your injuries and/or losses meet a certain threshold as established under Massachusetts law.
Proving that your injuries and losses are severe enough to justify a separate claim or lawsuit against a negligent party is not necessarily something you can easily do on your own. You must possess a thorough understanding of the law and gather sufficient documentation of your losses to demonstrate that they meet the criteria.
This is among the many reasons it is wise to hire a car accident attorney when filing a claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can review your case and let you know if you have justification to take legal action against a careless motorist or other such party.
Dashcam footage may show that a driver who caused your accident was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly.
The Role of Dashcam Footage in a Massachusetts Car Accident Case
If your attorney believes that you can recover additional compensation beyond that which your own insurer will provide by filing a claim against a negligent party, you will need to gather and present evidence showing that they were negligent. You will be unlikely to secure compensation if you cannot prove that your accident was the result of someone else’s carelessness.
Depending on the circumstances, dashcam footage can serve as very helpful evidence. Dashcam footage may show that a driver who caused your accident was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly.
That said, dashcam footage tends to primarily capture what is happening inside of a vehicle. The degree to which it can show what may be happening outside of a vehicle is somewhat limited.
That’s not to say that dashcam evidence can’t be helpful even when it doesn’t clearly show that a negligent motorist was driving carelessly. This is because Massachusetts, like many other states, has a comparative negligence rule that applies in most types of personal injury cases.
When the comparative negligence rule is applied, the amount of compensation a car accident victim can recover when filing a claim against a negligent party in Massachusetts may be reduced based on the extent to which a victim’s own negligence contributed to their accident.
For example, perhaps a victim is seeking $10,000 after being injured when they were struck by a driver who was speeding through a stop sign. It is undeniable that the driver who was not obeying the speed limit and not obeying a traffic sign was careless.
However, perhaps it can be shown that the victim was texting before their accident occurred. Therefore, they did not spot the speeding driver and were thus unable to avoid them. An insurance company or attorney might cite this fact to argue that the victim is 20% to blame for their accident. If this argument is presented successfully, the most the victim could recover in this case would be $8000.
It’s possible when you’re seeking compensation from a negligent third party who caused your motor vehicle collision that their insurer or lawyer will try to argue that you were also negligent in a manner that resulted in you being injured. Dashcam footage could be used to refute these arguments by demonstrating that you were driving responsibly and focusing on the road when your accident occurred.
At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our Boston car accident attorneys thoroughly consider how every potential piece of evidence can strengthen a case for our clients. If you have been injured in a car accident, we will review all the relevant evidence to optimize your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 to schedule your free consultation.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.