Dashcams are very common in other countries, but they are not seen as often in the US. In some countries, the way in which personal injury cases are litigated almost makes having a dashcam a requirement to be able to provide evidence of the events that unfolded during an accident. They are also more common in At-Fault states than No-Fault states.
If you have been pondering if you should get a dashcam, you might be wondering if it would really help you to provide evidence in a personal injury case. There are also some other reasons that a dashcam can come in handy besides proof of the activities surrounding an accident.
If you want to know more about the benefits of having a dashcam in your vehicle in case of an accident or a citation, read on!
Dashcam Benefits for Accidents
This is the most common reason for installing a dashcam and is often the most helpful facet of having a dashcam recording your daily driving. In instances like a hit and run, you will have evidence that you were the victim and the camera might record the license plate and other information of the person who hit you. This is also a big help if you are the victim of a reckless driving accident where events can happen too fast for you to collect license plate information or any details about the car that hit you.
In At-Fault states, having proof that you were not the at-fault driver can make the entire claims process and any potential court dates much easier to deal with. You will not have to spend a few weeks proving your innocence before you can get your car repair paid by insurance. Even in No-Fault states, having proof of who did what during the accident will speed up the claims process greatly.
A dashcam can also prevent you from becoming the victim of an insurance fraud attempt. People who commit insurance fraud count on the fact that it will be your word against theirs when it comes down to court testimony. Having actual video footage of the other person’s actions can actually eliminate any chance that they can prove or defend their story in any way.
Dashcam Benefits Related to Citations and Fines
This is one of the areas that people do not always think of first when they are planning to get a dashcam. However, having a dashcam on board can help prove that you were not at fault when you are cited for a driving offense. This is particularly useful for red-light ticketing that can sometimes be in error, but it can also assist you with parking tickets and other smaller fines that can be easily proved to be incorrect if you have video of your actions on the day in question.
Dashcam footage can also record the behavior of a ticketing officer. If any threatening or incorrect behavior is exhibited by the officer during the ticketing process, it will be captured by the dashcam in your car. While rare, this benefit of having a dashcam will keep you from having to defend your word against that of a police officer and it can make a big difference in instances where you feel that you are being ticketed unfairly or treated inappropriately during the citation.
Dashcam Benefits for Theft and Vandalism
Dashcams can be set up with motion sensors so that they will turn on when there is movement near your vehicle. This can make your dashcam a good safety net to prevent theft or vandalism. This kind of dashcam costs more, but being able to locate a vandal or a car thief can be very helpful if your car has been stolen or if it has been damaged.
As of 2020, car theft has gone up by 9.2% nationally, a possible indicator of economics-related pressures and people being at home without a job and nothing else to do. Some areas are always fraught with auto thefts, but even the national averages are up right now. This may have something to do with an ongoing increase in catalytic converter theft which has been rising exponentially over the past three years.
This can be a great investment if theft and vandalism are common in your neighborhood or near your work location. It is possible that auto insurance companies may start to offer a break in your premium if you have a dashcam installed because these devices actually save them money when they are used to prevent theft claims or vandalism claims.
Potential Downsides to Dashcam Installation
While dashcams primarily offer benefits to those who install them in their vehicles, they can come with some downsides as well. These factors need to be considered before you decide to use your dashcam footage as a defense in a court case.
If your dashcam records sound, it may record your conversation with others in the car and you might not be able to use the footage if you cannot gain their permission. You may also find that your statements or other behaviors recorded by the dashcam make you seem like you are at fault. Self-incriminating behavior caught on your dashcam will not be of any use to you during any court case related to a personal injury claim.
Dashcams Offer Overall Benefit to Drivers
While there are a few small negatives to installing a dashcam in your car, they are far outweighed by the benefits that they can offer you if you should get into an accident or if someone should try and steal or damage your car. Being able to offer absolute proof of the events of an accident is a huge benefit that can be offered by a dashcam.
This is not a high-cost item and more and more people have begun to install dashcams in their cars. Consider adding a dashcam as a layer of protection for your auto claims process or personal injury claims that you might have to make.