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Using Video Recordings vs. Pictures as Evidence of Car Accidents

Liability can be a hotly contested issue in car accident cases. It is common for defendants to simply lie about what happened in an effort to escape that liability. There are also instances in which people may simply have differing memories as to what occurred. The existence of video or photographic evidence can sometimes establish the issue of fault beyond any reasonable dispute. There are also times when, even if such evidence is not conclusive, it can greatly aid the jury. If you have been involved in a car accident, then it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.

This article will address multiple aspects in regard to using such evidence at trial. These aspects include:

  • Using video or photographs taken before and during the accident
  • Using video or photographs taken after the accident
  • Obtaining video and photographic evidence
  • The admissibility of such evidence

Each of these issues will be discussed in turn.

Using Video or Photographs Taken Before or During a Car Accident

Using Video

Video that captures a car accident occurring can be clear evidence of who is to blame. The reason for this is obvious as video can clear up discrepancies as to which party ran a red light, which party ran a stop sign, whether one party changed lanes without signaling, etc. Even if video is not available that captures the accident itself, there may be footage that shows, for example, one car was sitting at a four-way stop sign before another car had reached the intersection. This could establish that the first car clearly had the right of way.

Using Photographs

While not as strong as video evidence, photographs taken just before the time of an accident can be useful. Such photographs can be used to depict road conditions, the presence of other cars, and other issues which may have impacted driving conditions. This type of evidence can be used to piece together a more complete narrative of what happened.

Using Video or Photographs Taken After a Car Accident

Using Video

Video taken immediately following an accident can be quite useful. Ways in which such video can help include:

  • Proving the at-fault party moved their car – It is not uncommon for the party who caused the wreck to attempt to move their car immediately following the accident. Sometimes this is done for more innocent reasons, such as attempting to move their vehicle away from oncoming traffic. Sometimes, moving the car is just a blatant attempt to avoid liability. Whatever the reason, video of them moving the car can establish where it was immediately following the accident.
  • Establishing that injuries or damage were caused by the wreck – Depending on the facts of the case, the defendant’s attorneys may attempt to claim that your injuries or damage done to your vehicle were not caused by the accident. They may attempt to claim that the harm stemmed from another incident that occurred after the accident (this is common in cases where a victim did not seek immediate medical care). A video depicting your injuries and the damage to your vehicle will clearly show that the harm did not come from a later event.
  • Obtaining the license plate of a fleeing defendant – Unfortunately, there are times when an irresponsible defendant may attempt to flee the scene of an accident. If you have video of them driving away, and/or their license plate is clearly identifiable, then such can be evidence of the fact that they fled the scene.

Using Photographs

Using photographs taken immediately following a car accident can provide many of the same benefits described above. While photographs will not capture the entire chronology of events, as does video, they can go a long way towards establishing the movement of a vehicle, documenting your injuries, and showing that car fled the scene.

Obtaining Video and Photographic Evidence of a Car Accident

There are a number of ways in which video and photographic evidence of a car accident, whether from before or after the incident occurred, can be obtained. These include:

  • Nearby security cameras – If the incident occurred near a storefront, business, or home with some type of security system then there is a chance that the incident will be caught on video. An example of this can be a store with a camera pointed towards its parking lot and the recording also incidentally captures what is happening on the street.
  • Individuals with cell phones – We live in a world where seemingly every American citizen, including children, has a camera-equipped cell phone. If an identified witness happened to be filming in the vicinity, then they may have captured the accident on video. Even if they did not capture the incident, it is common for bystanders to take pictures or video of the scene immediately following the incident.
  • Your own cell phone – If you are involved in an accident then it is important that you take immediate images or video of both the scene of the incident, your vehicle, and your injuries if you are able to do so.

The Admissibility of Video and Photographic Evidence

It is important to understand that simply having a video or a photograph of the incident does not necessarily mean that you can admit such evidence in Court. Admitting such evidence requires the establishment of a proper foundation. This typically includes testimony from the person who took the image or video. They will explain that they took the video and that it is authentic. Determinations of admissibility will be made by the judge.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Today

If you have been in a wreck, it is important that you take immediate steps to protect your interests. One such step is to immediately retain a lawyer. We take pride in the level of service we provide to our clients and we are ready to assist you in such matters. Contact us online or by telephone today to speak with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney.


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