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After a car accident, what you often get is a tangle of conflicting stories, so dash cams can be a tremendous help with untangling the mess. Here are a few thoughts from a car accident lawyer serving Navasota, TX, and Huntsville, TX on how dash cam footage can greatly impact the outcome of a car accident claim.

Thoughts from a Car Accident Lawyer Serving Navasota, TX, and Huntsville, TX

Direct Evidence of the Accident

One of the most significant ways dash cam footage helps with car accident claims is by providing clear, unbiased footage of what happened. Police often arrive on the scene well after the fact, and eyewitness accounts can be unreliable due to varying perspectives, shock caused by the incident, or even bias. A dash cam offers an unedited recording.

This footage can include the events leading up to the crash, capturing the moments before impact and revealing who had the right-of-way, traffic violations, or other vital details. Dash cam footage that captures the moment of crash itself can clarify questions of fault and the severity of the impact. Footage following the accident can show how the drivers behaved, if anyone fled the scene, and the extent of damage to the vehicles.

Protecting Yourself Against False Claims

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for other drivers to try and shift the blame in car accidents, particularly if there are serious injuries or damages involved. A dash cam helps protect you from being falsely accused. It provides evidence to your insurance company and potentially in court if another driver claims you caused the accident, such as alleging you ran a light or swerved into their lane. The footage can clearly show how the accident actually happened. Dash cam footage can also protect you in the case of attempted insurance fraud, from individuals who may exaggerate injuries or property damage. Dash cam footage can sometimes reveal inconsistencies in these claims.

Speeding Up the Claims Process

Insurance claims after a car accident can be notoriously slow. Disputes over fault can lead to delays in processing, investigations, and drawn-out negotiations. One of the benefits of dash cam footage is that in many cases, it immediately clarifies what happened. Consequently, this can expedite the process. If liability is clear-cut in the footage, insurance companies are less likely to engage in time-consuming investigations, and with unambiguous proof of fault on hand, insurance companies may be more likely to offer a settlement quickly. 

Challenges and Considerations with Dash Cam Footage

Footage Quality

To make sure your dash cam footage is actually useable as evidence, it’s wise to invest in a dash cam with high-quality recording capabilities. Low-resolution or shaky footage may not be clear enough to show key details in the event of an accident.

Data Management

Since accidents happen unexpectedly, you’ll need to have a system already in place to quickly secure the footage. Some dash cams automatically back up footage to the cloud, while others require you to manually download the relevant clips. Make sure you have a process established and are fairly familiar with how to use it before you actually need it.

Legal Complexities

Texas law permits dash cam use provided the camera doesn’t obstruct the windshield, other windows, or the deployment of airbags. However, the use of audio recorded by the dash cam can be tricky. In Texas, it is illegal to record private conversations unless you are part of them, for example, so it’s generally best to mute your dash cam so you can avoid any potential legal issues related to unauthorized audio recording.

Tips for Using a Dash Cam


Mount the dash cam in a location that gives an unobstructed view of the road ahead, does not inhibit the view from any other windows, and will not in any way prevent airbags from deploying.


Ensure your camera is recording at a high resolution and the date and time are accurate. Some cameras also offer additional features like GPS tracking or incident detection, which can be helpful in a claim. It’s also a good idea to turn off or mute audio, so there are no legal issues with recording audio without the knowledge or permission of those being recorded.


Regularly check the footage to make sure the camera is operating properly and clean the lens as needed. Ensure you have enough storage space or use a dash cam with cloud backup to prevent overwriting relevant data.

Preservation of Footage

If you are involved in an accident, immediately notify your insurance company that you have dash cam footage. Let them know the make and model of your camera in case they have specific instructions on retrieving the footage. Download and save multiple copies of the relevant clips in separate locations for safekeeping.

Beyond Accidents: Additional Benefits of Dash Cams

Deterrence of Traffic Violations

Drivers of all kinds are less likely to break traffic laws if they know they are being recorded.

Monitoring Teen Drivers

Parents can use dash cams with GPS tracking features to keep track of their teen’s driving habits and locations.

Documenting Scenic Drives

If you enjoy road trips, a dash cam can be a fun way to capture the journey.

Protection Against Parking Lot Incidents

Some dash cams feature “parking mode,” which means they can capture an incident that causes movement around your car, even when your car is turned off.

Should You Get a Dash Cam?

There are definite pros to getting a dash cam. Dash cam footage can provide clear evidence for car accidents, and also be a protection against false claims. Faster insurance settlements are also likely with clear evidence of the accident and proof of fault. Dash cams have the additional benefit of monitoring driving behavior and recording road trips.

Of course, as with any decision regarding the use of technology, there is the con of researching and purchasing a dash cam that can provide good enough quality to be useful, as well as, of course, the need to manage the data and settings on the specific dash cam you buy. There also may be potential legal complexities regarding the use of the dash cam footage. However, if you want the peace of mind knowing you have additional protection when driving, a dash cam is a relatively inexpensive investment. Consider your driving habits, whether you live in an area with high accident rates, and your overall comfort level with technology when making your decision.

The Importance of Legal Consultation

While dash cam footage can be incredibly beneficial in a car accident claim, it doesn’t replace the need for sound legal advice. Insurance companies are skilled in interpreting accident footage, and they may still attempt to minimize your compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to use your dash cam footage to your advantage, ensuring you get a fair settlement. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, for a free consultation. Our team of attorneys have a proven track record in handling car accident cases and are ready to help you get through the process, with or without dash cam footage to help!

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