Getting into a car accident can be stressful, especially when you are left to try and prove you were not at fault. The other driver may claim they were not to blame. Yet, when you know they were, you deserve to have that justice. Thankfully, if your accident occurs anywhere near a traffic camera, it can benefit your case significantly and prove they were at fault.
Traffic cameras capturing vehicle movements at intersections can provide crucial evidence for car accident claims. However, using the footage requires strategic navigation of obtainment policies, video quality limits, and legal obstacles when you are denied access. It is important to know that you have the right to access it, and a West Sacramento car accident lawyer can help you.
Traffic Camera Footage Is a Good Source of Evidence in West Sacramento
With traffic cameras monitoring many intersections in West Sacramento, some accident victims wonder if this footage can help their injury claim. When possible, camera evidence provides an objective record of collisions. However, limitations exist around accessing and using the recordings, so it is important to use the information strategically.
The city must be contacted to request traffic camera evidence, which may involve court orders and policies on footage release, so do not attempt to try and gather the footage yourself. The video quality, capture angles, or visibility obstructions may impact usefulness. The footage may only reflect certain points and may not show all factors leading up to an accident.
While imperfect, independent traffic camera videos remain strong evidence when available. They visually confirm other witness accounts, provide unbiased collision recordings, and capture real-time vehicle speeds and movement. When accessible and clear, the recordings document valuable visual context that can give non-negotiable evidence.
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How to Obtain the Traffic Camera Footage
You or your attorney must send a written request to the West Sacramento Police Department citing the specific camera location, date, time, and your case details. If footage exists, the police may release it but are not required to do so. A subpoena or court order may be needed if the request is denied.
If obtained, review the video quality and coverage angles to assess its usefulness for supporting your case. Details like license plates, traffic flow, vehicle speeds, and movements should be clear. If the footage lacks visual impact, it likely holds limited value as evidence.
Be specific in the request about how the camera angle may have captured the accident circumstances. Obtaining the footage promptly is vital, as most systems automatically delete videos after 90 days, but some places only hold the video for 30 days. Once received, thoroughly analyze the footage with your attorney to determine its impact on proving fault.
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When You Should Access the Footage
Request the recording immediately after any collision at a monitored intersection. That way, you can get started on the case. The footage has the highest impact on determining accident fault when events have just occurred. Requesting it early on also prevents automatic deletion since the footage is not stored long.
Access the video before finalizing an initial statement or report on the accident. Independent recordings can validate or clarify details to include. Let the footage objectively guide an account rather than perceptions alone. Consider the evidence even for minor accidents. Though the incident seems clear cut, the video may reveal factors like traffic violations, hidden car damage, or vehicle speeds that bolster your case.
Pursuing available camera evidence as early as possible allows thorough review and analysis. Let the recordings guide your case strategy and strengthen arguments around responsibility. The footage could capture key details you missed.
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When the Camera Footage Quality Is Not Good
While traffic camera evidence can be useful, limitations do exist. Grainy, obstructed, or incomplete footage may not help your case. Understanding common quality issues can help you if you experience any of these problems.
Cameras only capture certain angles at an intersection, which may not align with accident sight lines. Significant visual obstructions like large vehicles can block critical moments that could have shown all of the evidence. Night and bad weather can also minimize the video quality.
If footage shows the collision but lacks sufficient detail because of distance, obstructions, or poor visibility, it offers limited evidentiary value. Using it risks different interpretations by both sides. Low-quality recordings may damage a case more than help if they seem to contradict stronger evidence.
What to Do If Access to the Footage Is Denied
If you get a refusal, consult your attorney regarding formally submitting a discovery demand, subpoena, or public records petition to obtain the footage. Highlight that the recordings do not infringe on reasonable privacy given the public nature of roadways. Seeking access upholds critical transparency and truth-finding goals within the justice system.
If needed, your lawyer can motion to compel the release of the recordings. They can argue their necessity for proving your accident claim in court. Judges may intervene to order disclosure from the police department, given sufficient cause.
Though not guaranteed success, persistently pursuing legal avenues to obtain denied footage could provide a breakthrough. At a minimum, diligently pursuing these efforts strengthens your case if the footage remains withheld. Do not take initial denials as the last word because you could interfere with your potential of having solid evidence.
Let Us Help You Access Your Traffic Footage
If traffic camera footage could reveal important details about your accident but is being denied, contact our team, and we will help. We have the experience and legal skills to relentlessly pursue the release of this critical evidence through court orders and appeals if necessary. Do not let obstructed access to potentially pivotal objective recordings weaken your injury claim.
Our legal team has helped numerous clients obtain and utilize traffic camera footage to prove their accidents, secure fair settlements, and win in court. We understand how to navigate all aspects, from proper requests to strategic use. Contact us for a free consultation so we can help you with the next step in your case.