Are you pursuing a liability insurance claim or considering a personal injury lawsuit after an auto accident? Then, you will need evidence to make the case that the other driver was responsible for the crash. In many cases, video of the accident is the strongest evidence available, but it can be challenging to obtain. Thankfully, an attorney could help you get surveillance camera footage of your auto accident in New York.
Finding surveillance footage useful to your personal injury case can be more challenging than you might realize. Despite the prevalence of public traffic cameras, these cameras are designed to record license plate numbers and do not always capture the circumstances of an accident.
The problem with New York traffic cameras
There are numerous traffic cameras stationed at intersections throughout New York. These cameras are also prominent in school zones. Unfortunately, despite the presence of hundreds of traffic cameras, the footage they capture will rarely benefit your personal injury case.
The factors that go into a car accident often begin well before the collision actually occurs. For example, drivers can fail to yield the right-of-way or cross over the center line several yards or feet before striking another vehicle.
Unfortunately, public traffic cameras are usually tightly focused on areas where they can record the license plates of speeding drivers. That means that if these cameras recorded any aspect of your accident, the video likely lacks the context needed to determine who was at fault.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving New York, call (212) 732-2929
Securing videos from private cameras
Private surveillance cameras can be a gold mine for evidence in a car accident case. Unlike traffic cameras, these private devices could have a perfect vantage of an intersection or street where the accident took place. Private citizens could install surveillance systems on commercial or residential properties alike.
There might be other types of video evidence of your accident outside of what is captured by surveillance video equipment placed on a building. For example, tourists sometimes record accidents using handheld devices. Others are recorded by dashboard cameras mounted on nearby vehicles.
The first step in obtaining video of your accident involves an investigation of the scene. Before you can recover camera footage, you must first determine if a camera was present to begin with. Interviewing witnesses at the scene could inform you on whether they were operating a camera at the time of the crash. Alternatively, surveillance systems and dashboard cameras are often visible to anyone looking for them.
Getting your hands on privately owned video can be problematic
Once you find the camera, the next step is obtaining the video from its owner. This step could be more challenging than you might imagine.
The owner of the footage is under no obligation to hand it over to you without a court order. That said, many people willingly do so when asked. A New York car accident lawyer from our firm could not only help you identify surveillance cameras but also work with the owners to secure a copy.
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Moving quickly to preserve evidence
It is vital that you move quickly to secure surveillance footage of your car accident. The longer you wait, the less likely you will obtain the footage you need. The amount of time an individual or business will retain surveillance footage can vary dramatically.
Some cameras record over old footage after a matter of days to save storage space. Others archive their footage but only keep it for a limited number of days or months. So, every day you delay investigating your case could be one day closer to the destruction of that valuable footage.
It is also worth noting that obtaining this footage can be time-consuming. If the camera owner is reluctant to turn over the footage, it could take time to reach an agreement with them. If you intend to seek a subpoena for the footage, that process could also be long and drawn-out.
The sooner your attorney contacts the owner of the camera, the more likely you will have that footage to rely on in your personal injury case. For this reason, the sooner you contact a lawyer to assist you in building a strong claim, the better.
Talk to our attorneys about your legal rights
As a general matter, it is usually a good idea to talk to a lawyer after being injured in an accident to protect your rights. There are certain steps you can take after being injured in an accident to help strengthen your case. Follow this simple advice:
- Call the police
- Request medical attention
- Record the names and addresses of any witnesses
- Take pictures
- Do not post on social media about your accident or injuries
- Follow all medical advise
- Call a qualified and experienced lawyer
The team at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates is ready to help you pursue a monetary award following your car accident. We can evaluate your case, determine liability, or track down footage of your accident as it happened.
Call for your free consultation with a team member today. If we agree to accept your case, you will not be required to pay us any money upfront. We only earn a legal fee when you recover compensation.