Using dash cam evidence in road rage cases: What’s allowed and what’s not
Car Accident - December 21, 2023
Dash cams give drivers more confidence that if another driver strikes them, they’ll have video evidence proving they didn’t cause the accident. It can also help you feel safer if someone’s road rage and reckless driving causes an accident.
If you were in an accident involving road rage, you may feel too intimidated to demand the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, and we understand this. We’ll do the communicating for you.
A Chicago road rage attorney from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can support you throughout the car accident claims process, protecting you from the other driver and advocating for your interests. Contact us today at (800) 985-1819.
Can I use dash cam evidence in a road rage car accident case?
Being confronted by an enraged driver can be terrifying, and it’s easy to feel like you could be hurt. Footage from your car’s dash cam can be invaluable evidence, especially if it shows someone driving recklessly, tailgating, or screaming, all signs of possible road rage.
However, some considerations exist for introducing your dash camera footage as evidence in your car accident claim.
A judge will likely admit the evidence if you can prove that it was recorded during the incident and in a public place. You’ll also have to prove that it’s your personal dash cam.
The quality of the footage may also influence whether it will be allowed in court. It may not affect the case if it’s grainy, blurry, or poorly lit. If your lawyer can’t clean up the footage enough to identify the defendant committing a road rage accident, they may decide not to use it as evidence.
Can the defendant use my dash cam footage against me?
The defendant in a road rage car accident has the right to access any evidence that could be used against them during the discovery phase of a trial. So, the other driver’s lawyer will likely request your dashcam footage and could try to use it against you or highlight a problematic element in your case.
For example, the dash cam may pick up on something you did that sparked the road rage incident. Say you accidentally cut someone off when changing lanes, or you changed lanes and forgot to signal. This doesn’t excuse the other driver from escalating to the point of a road rage reaction, but it could make proving liability a little murkier.
This is why it’s so important to have your own legal representation. You must counter any allegations the other driver (and their lawyer and insurance company) may level against you.
Dash cam laws in Illinois
Personal dash cams are legal in Illinois, but for your footage to be admissible in court, you must have recorded it in compliance with Illinois recording laws.
A dash cam may be installed in your car as long as it is placed on the driver’s side of the windshield and does not take up more than five inches so as not to obstruct the driver’s view.
If your dash cam records audio of the occupants inside, you must obtain permission from everyone inside the car to legally record audio. Illinois is a two-party consent state when it comes to audio recordings. Otherwise, any recording is considered illegally obtained.
When do I have to give my dash cam footage to the police?
If someone is injured in a road rage crash, the police may file charges against the angry driver, and your dash cam footage could be a valuable part of the criminal case. Make a copy as soon as you can after the crash. Your dash cam app may automatically save the footage, which you should upload somewhere secure.
If the police plan to use the dash cam footage in a criminal case, they may legally be able to seize the device. However, you should talk to your car accident lawyer about when to give police the camera and your options for turning over a copy of the footage.
Do you need help after a road rage accident?
Filing a claim against a driver whose road rage caused the crash and your injury can be a little scary. You don’t know if they’ll overreact to your attempt to collect what you’re rightfully owed.
A skilled road rage crash lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can handle all the legal matters on your behalf, shielding you from the angry individual. Contact us today at (800) 985-1819 for a free consultation in your case.