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How Dash Cams Change the Game in 18-Wheeler Lawsuits


More and more people are choosing to install dash cameras in their vehicle for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is to establish what happened in an accident in a manner that is not easily contradicted by the other insurance company.

dash cam picture


A dash mounted camera or dash cam is a camera that records why you are driving. It is similar to a GoPro for your vehicle. The video cameras cost between $50 and $200 depending upon the model that you choose. Some, are mounted by a suction cup on your dashboard and connected to power by a cigarette charger. Others are permanently mounted with direct power lines.


As soon as the vehicle starts the video camera will record the scene where the camera is focused. Trucking companies have been experimenting with dash cams both forward and rear in a way to reduce claims and make truck drivers more accountable. Some bus companies have cameras recording the passengers as a way to reduce claims.


In a recent Houston 18 wheeler accident lawsuit we are handling, the trucking company produced a dash cam film showing not only the forward view of the big rig but also an interior view of the truck driver. The video indicates that the light had turned red before the big truck enters the intersection. While the driver was ticketed for running a red light, most truck drivers fight their tickets and the citation usually is not admissible in court unless the driver was found guilty of the charge.


By having a video showing exactly how the truck accident occurred, liability issues are now somewhat resolved. Without a video showing how the wreck happened, the defense of the case would usually revolve around a ‘yellow light” or perhaps even claims that the injured plaintiff was the one who ran the light.


Having evidentiary proof that is admissible in court is a game changer for both parties to a lawsuit. While in this instance, the trucking company will not be able to argue that the truck driver did not run a red light, but another case, the trucking company may avoid a lawsuit by proving that the light was green.


In other words, video cameras recording the crash eliminate much of the possibility of different versions of the story about the cause of a crash.


Some insurance companies are now accepting dash cam footage to resolve liability issues and pending claims. However, to date insurance companies are not offering discounts for dash cam use. Nevertheless, many drivers and trucking companies are using this new technology to protect themselves from inappropriate traffic tickets and to establish who was at fault for a crash.


In Russia, over 1 million drivers have dash cams installed on their vehicles to help prevent police corruption.


Many police units come standard with video cameras which can provide evidence about such things as whether the driver arrested for drunken driving, looked intoxicated on the video.


The use by trucking companies of a video serves to protect the company from false claims and also gives the company incentive to fairly resolve cases early where the truck driver clearly was at fault.




Post under: blog, Truck Technology

About Greg Baumgartner

Truck accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner
Greg Baumgartner is a preeminent rated personal injury lawyer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of experience representing severely injured clients in truck accidents. He founded Baumgartner Law Firm, in 1985, with a mission to provide excellent legal representation and personalized attention to every client.