Is Dash Cam Footage Admissible in Court?

by Terry Hu on March 17, 2022

Dash cams are an increasingly popular accessory for cars among safety-minded drivers. Their affordable price point and straightforward functionality make them a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants added security on the road. While dashcams are becoming more common, there is still confusion about the role dashcam footage can play in a personal injury claim, particularly if your claim ends up in court. But when used properly, dash cam footage may help you prove the other driver's fault in an auto accident. Here's what you need to know to get the best possible results.


What Are the Conditions for a Dashcam Footage to be Admissible?

Generally, dashcam footage should be considered court admissible evidence. There are two basic conditions an attorney will look at when determining whether dashcam footage will be admitted as evidence for trial.


State Law on Consent

As a device that can record audio and video, the driving recorder is subject to certain legal constraints. We recommend you know about your state restriction before buying a dash cam.


Voice Recording Permission

Thankfully, American law is less stringent than European ones, which require that dash cam footage be deleted within a few minutes of being recorded. In the US, 16 states require two-party consent to audio recordings taking place. This consent must be obtained before starting the recording. This includes populous states such as California, Illinois, and Massachusetts. The remaining states require only one-party consent. In these cases, you do not have to request consent before making the recording. This means that it is possible that dashcam court evidence could be thrown out if it includes audio.


Driver's Field of Vision

Many jurisdictions have laws that ban the use of dash cams that obstruct the driver's field of vision. Middle or Driver’s Side of the Windshield, don’t block more than five square inches, and don’t install within airbag deployment zone. Violation of traffic laws can not be used as evidence to defend you in court. What needs more attention is, if an improperly-placed dash cam results in a blind spot that causes an accident, the driver can be held liable.


Recording In Public Place

Dash cams are not allowed to record events that take place on private property. In public, it is usually safe to make video recordings. Their scope is limited to events that take place in public view, in public areas. Therefore truck dashcam footage recorded on public highways should be court admissible evidence.


The footage must reflect what actually happened

To be admissible, dash cam footage must be unedited and objective, and it must accurately depict the events that occurred. There can’t be a dispute as to the authenticity of the video or audio evidence because that will likely lead to an objection being raised by opposing counsel. You should always make sure to keep dash cam footage clear and unaltered. However. Low quality, grainy video footage may not provide a clear enough picture to identify or determine who was at fault. And if the actual accident – and the circumstances leading up to it – aren't fully visible in the footage, the dash cam footage may not be useful in court.


How to Use Dashcam Footage as Evidence

There are three main reasons why you might want to use video recorded on the road as legal evidence. To sue a negligent driver for property or personal injury damages, to defend yourself against the same, or to prove that a traffic violation charge is bogus.


It can be used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit

An accident, whether it be a motor vehicle accident, or something else, can lead to serious damages. However, when someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you shouldn’t be left to struggle on your own. The guilty party needs to be held accountable, and gathering evidence that shows they caused your injury can help.

When you file a personal injury claim after an accident, you will need to have supporting evidence and documentation that indicates how the crash happened, what happened, and who was to blame. The dash cam footage could make your case. It may be your redeeming proof that you aren’t liable for the accident and it can show who was at fault for the accident that caused the damages. Even when a witness or driver involved in a crash is adamant that the accident occurred one way, judges, juries, and insurance companies will take video footage much more seriously if it shows otherwise. It is highly likely the other side will try to fight you on it, so it is always recommended you speak with a personal injury attorney.


It can be used as evidence in situations where the at-fault driver tries to deny actions

Suppose you are in a car accident and the other driver ran a red light or a stop sign, dash cam footage will be incredibly helpful. If the other driver is trying to deny liability, dash cam footage may be the key to your success. You still have the legal right to pursue damages. Your case must establish how the accident happened and who is liable for the resulting injuries and damages. In some instances, the dash cam footage can show whether the other driver was attempting to speed up or use his turn signal. It shows details about the accident that witnesses may not be able to convey. If the dash cam video is authenticated and relevant, it can be used as evidence in a civil suit or settlement negotiations. The insurance company may refuse to pay a claim based on false information which can result in a jail sentence for the at-fault driver.


It can be used as evidence in situations you are not at fault

A man committed suicide by jumping in front of a car. The driver was arrested but was later released when this CCTV footage was shown to the cops. Now imagine the same situation and there is no CCTV. It will be very hard to convince the cops that the driver is not at fault. With a dash cam, you always have proof that you are not at fault (if you are actually not) and the video can be used as evidence.


Can Dash Cam Footage Be Used Against You?

If you've ever had a car accident and your video camera was activated, you're probably aware that dash cam footage can be used against you in the courtroom. But how can your dash cam footage be used against you? In some cases, dash cam footage will be used against you if it proves that you doing something illegal or you were partially at fault that led to an accident. Even in cases where someone else's actions may have directly caused an accident, dash cam footage can be used in court against you if it shows that you were speeding, changing lanes illegally, or doing anything else that could have been a contributing factor.

Do you have to share footage that doesn’t count in your favor? Here are some tips to protect your privacy.

In most states and cities in the US, dash cam footage can be used against you in a court of law, but not in Switzerland. Dash cams are illegal in Switzerland, where data protection laws prohibit recording on private property.

While law enforcement officers can request footage of an accident, they can't make you do it. You should only show your video footage if they show the search warrant or you've consented to let others view it. You can speak to a lawyer before you share the video with anyone. Submit dash cam footage to the police, it's best to reach out to your local police department through a non-emergency phone number or other contact method and ask what their process is. You may be required to submit the SD memory card from your dash camera.No matter how you share them, it's a good idea to make a personal backup copy of all videos before submitting dash cam footage to the police. To make sure that it hasn't been tampered with and the video has not been edited, in case of cause unnecessary trouble.

Some people might want to destroy some evidence. However, destroying evidence is a very serious offense. Instead, if you’d prefer some potentially awkward footage not to see the light of day, give a copy to a lawyer. As privileged information, this will then not be shared with third parties unless such an obligation arises.



The dash cam is the third eye of the truth, it tells people the actual situation, it does not take sides. Therefore, to use the driving recorder correctly, you must follow the rules and maintain good driving habits. If you have both of these characteristics, owning a dashcam is that it usually avoids those nasty “your word against mine” arguments that often follow a traffic accident. In addiction, if you need any help with your criminal defense case and want to make sure all available resources are used for your benefit – we recommend you to talk with an experienced attorney.


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