When you are suing someone for injuries they caused you in a car accident lawsuit, you want every advantage and supporting piece of evidence there is to be in your case to give yourself the best shot at winning. However, certain pieces of evidence are frequently barred because they were obtained illegally, were not relevant, or had other problems. If you have dashcam footage of a car accident where you were injured and want it admitted as evidence, you may be wondering if that is allowed in Tennessee.
In Tennessee, you are allowed to have dashcams in your car so long as they are unobstructed. Generally, this means that they are located on the dashboard of your car. You can use your dashcam footage or another driver’s footage in court as evidence so long as it is relevant to the issues being argued in the case. However, opposing lawyers might try to stop some or all of the footage from being shown, and the judge may do so if they determine it is not relevant to your case.
For a free case review, call Howe Law’s Tennessee car accident lawyers at the number (844) 876-4357.
What is a Dashcam?
Dashcams are small video recording devices that can be mounted to various surfaces. They are very popular in motor vehicles of all kinds to record what is happening on the road. Having a dashcam on the front of your car can be seen as a way of being extra prepared for eventualities that you do not want to happen but still might.
For that reason, people with dashcam footage of a car accident where they were injured may be very eager to use their footage to try and help their case. However, the best course of action is to stay as calm and impartial as possible, let our Nashville car accident lawyers examine the footage, and make a call as to whether it is relevant and useful to the success of your case or not.
Are Dashcams Allowed in Cars in Tennessee?
Dashcams are allowed in cars in Tennessee. However, the camera must be mounted on the dashboard of the car, not on the windshield or anywhere else. This rule is in place to make sure that drivers have an obstructed view of the road while driving.
Can You Use Dashcam Footage in a Tennessee Car Accident Lawsuit?
You are absolutely allowed to use dashcam footage in a Tennessee car accident lawsuit. To have the footage shown in court, you have to have it admitted as evidence. We’ll go over some of the requirements for evidence in car accident cases below.
General Evidence Rules
In general, evidence is allowed to be admitted into court when it has any tendency to prove something relevant to the case more or less likely to be true. Basically, this means that if our lawyers can explain to the judge why the dashcam footage is important to your case, it can be shown to the jury and used at trial.
Remember that for evidence to be admissible, it does not have to provide the whole truth; it only has to make something more or less likely to be true. For example, if you have dashcam footage of a car moving towards you significantly faster than the other cars in the video, you can use that footage to support a claim that the defendant was speeding. You do not need real-time video of the defendant’s speedometer – although that would be incredibly helpful to your case if it was possible to obtain.
Evidence is not admissible if it is not relevant to the case per Tennessee Evidence Rule 401. Relevant evidence means anything that has a tendency to make something more or less probable than it would otherwise be without that evidence. For example, in the context of dashcam footage, if the camera is pointed at the ground and has no sound indicating what is going on around it, it likely will not be seen as relevant to the case and will not be able to be admitted as evidence.
In some circumstances, the judge may require that only a portion of the dashcam footage be shown in court. This is because it helps narrow evidence down to only relevant things. For example, if you had your dashcam on for three hours, you may only be allowed to show the jury the handful of minutes surrounding the accident since that is the portion of the footage that is relevant to the case. However, lawyers can argue that showing the whole video is important to the case or that certain portions of the footage are not relevant, will prejudice the jury against their client, or are otherwise unhelpful.
Using Your Dashcam Footage in a Tennessee Car Accident Lawsuit
Getting your dashcam footage into your car accident lawsuit can be a fairly straightforward process. You can provide our lawyers with your camera and the footage from it. We can review the footage to see if we think it would be helpful to your case. Finally, we can submit it as evidence, and absent any objections or concerns from the judge or opposing counsel, we can use it in court.
Using Someone Else’s Dashcam Footage in a Tennessee Car Accident Lawsuit
If another vehicle involved in your car accident had dashcam footage of the incident, you may also be able to obtain that footage and use it as evidence. Before trial, lawyers exchange information about the case through a process called “discovery.” Essentially, lawyers will share information so that there are fewer surprises at trial and both sides are working off the same set of facts. Our lawyers can ask for the footage from the defendant’s dashcam and analyze it to see if it helps your case as evidence. Alternatively, a witness may have footage that could be used in your case.
Call Our Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers Today
Howe Law’s Knoxville car accident lawyers can give you a free case review when you call (844) 876-4357.