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Written by: J. Todd Tenge

Can Dashcam Footage Be Used in My Car Accident Claim in Colorado?

| Read Time: 5 minutes
what is a dash camera

Dash cameras have become a popular accessory. You may have heard friends talking about installing them in their cars. But what is a dash camera? 

A dash camera is a video recording device attached somewhere in a car, usually by the front windshield. It is an excellent theft deterrence and potential evidence source for car accidents.

Contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, to learn more about using dash cameras and dashcam footage in Colorado. 

What Is a Dash Camera? 

A dashboard camera, or a dashcam, is a recording device installed in a vehicle. It provides video surveillance, usually of the outside of the car. Its purpose is to catch footage of an accident, traffic violation, or criminal activity. 

A dash camera may also face the interior of the car. Rideshare drivers commonly use this to provide protection and security for themselves and their passengers. Though quality and models can vary, dash cameras can be used during the day or night. The footage is then saved in the camera, disc, or cloud storage. Some dashboard camera models can monitor the vehicle’s speed, record audio, and pinpoint vehicle location.

There are different places to put your dash camera in your car. The most common location is in the middle of your windshield behind the rearview mirror. However, you can install the device in another area in the car. Just be sure you do not block your driving view.

What Is the Legal Status of Dash Cameras in Colorado? 

Like in most states, dash cameras are legal in Colorado. The only issue for drivers is the positioning of their dash camera. If the dash camera blocks the driver’s view of the road, the driver could face problems for unsafe driving.

If an accident occurs, dashcam footage is instrumental. Colorado law generally deems dashcam footage acceptable as evidence in car accident cases. The only requirement is that the footage meets the same evidentiary rules that all other evidence in your car accident claim must meet.

How Can Dash Cameras Be Used in Car Accidents? 

The aftermath of a car accident can be confusing. It’s easy for parties to forget what happened. Any sustained injuries can be painful. And the trauma of being in an accident can interfere with memory. 

A dashcam can provide live footage of the accident. This evidence is powerful because it is neutral and objective. It is not based on a witness’s perception or the parties’ memories of the event. It shows precisely how the accident happened. 

Experts can analyze this footage. It can provide crucial information used to determine the cause of the accident. For example, it could show your lane had the right of way when the other vehicle hit the side of your car. Or, it can show how the other vehicle swerved down the road before hitting your vehicle, indicating the possible intoxication of the other driver.

Can the Police Seize Your Dash Camera? 

No. The police cannot take your dash camera. Although the dashcam footage can have vital information about the car accident, your constitutional rights prevent the police from taking your dashboard camera against your will.

However, if you give police permission, they can have your dash camera. But the police can confiscate your dash camera against your will with a court order. This court order is called a subpoena, where the court compels you to do something. If you refuse to abide by the subpoena, you may be ordered to pay significant fines.

How Long Do You Have to Keep Your Dash Camera Footage?

Every dash camera has its settings and keeps footage for a certain amount of time. However, if you are involved in a car accident, there are specific rules to follow. You have a duty to preserve the evidence in a car crash. 

Thus, if you are involved in a car accident, you must preserve the dashcam footage from that day. Do not delete it. And make every attempt to save it. For example, emailing the footage to yourself is an excellent way to keep the evidence safe.

Any deletion of footage from the accident can get you in serious trouble. Destruction of evidence during the investigation can make you guilty of interference with a police investigation. Thus, you must preserve all footage from the accident.

An experienced car accident dash cam attorney can guide you on handling your dash camera’s footage after an accident.

Why Have a Dash Camera?

There are many benefits of having a dash camera in your car, including the following:

  • Protection for drivers and passengers. Dash cameras may deter criminals from attacking you and your vehicle because they will be less likely to approach if they see they are being recorded.
  • Fault determination in a car accident. Having video footage running as the accident occurred can shed light on the distribution of fault for the accident.
  • Make the legal process more efficient. Evidence from a dashboard camera is difficult to dispute. Therefore, there is less evidence to argue over, and parties can settle the dispute quickly. 

With the increase in technology, Ask one of our seasoned car accident attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, about the benefits of installing a dash camera in your vehicle.

What Are the Drawbacks of Having a Dash Camera?

Know that having a dashboard camera can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can provide evidence that clears you of any negligence in the car accident. Or it gives proof of the other party’s negligent act or omission that caused the car accident.

The drawback is that the dashcam footage can prove that you were at fault for the accident. 

If you think you were at fault for the car accident and the dashcam footage will show that, remember you must preserve all evidence of the accident. This is true even if the evidence negatively affects you. Contact a Colorado car accident attorney. They can assess the situation and formulate a strategy, 

For example, Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that even if you are partly at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages for the other party’s negligence. Any potential compensation will be reduced based on your portion of fault. But, if your negligence is 50 percent or more, you are no longer entitled to recover damages.

So, if you are not at least half responsible for the accident, you can recover some compensation.

Contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, and Let Us Help You 

Dash cameras are helpful and essential tools in investigating liability in car accidents. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we can help you utilize your dash cameras and preserve their footage.

We are a boutique law firm focusing solely on personal injury cases, especially motor vehicle accidents. We have operated for over 30 years and have office locations in the Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins areas.Contact us for a free consultation and learn how we can help you with your dashboard camera accident.

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