Free Consultation
(813) 639-8111
Are Dash Cams Legal in Tampa and Can They Help an Auto Accident Case?
Are Dash Cams Legal in Tampa and Can They Help an Auto Accident Case?

Are Dash Cams Legal in Tampa and Can They Help an Auto Accident Case?

  • Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers has over six decades of experience helping injured people. We have a proven track record of success for our clients. Our law firm has been around for a long time because we get great results and don’t take advantage of people.
  • Our lawyers are featured in The Best Lawyers of America 2024 Edition for Personal Injury, it is an honor that reflects our excellence in the field. This recognition is based on a rigorous peer-review survey, where leading attorneys evaluate the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Other lawyers in the field confirm our reputation for delivering outstanding legal representation to our clients.
  • Our personal injury lawyers have achieved a 10.0 AVVO rating, the highest possible score, this signifies our attorneys’ substantial experience and successful track record. This rating considers various factors, including years of practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements, and peer endorsements. Attorneys with a history of winning complex, high-stakes cases are more likely to achieve this rating, which serves as a benchmark of excellence and reliability in the legal profession.
  • Our Personal Injury lawyers have been selected to be on the Florida Super Lawyers 2024 list. Super Lawyers is an exclusive list that honors less than 5 percent of attorneys in the entire state of Florida. Super Lawyers is a research-driven and peer-conducted rating system that is part of Thomson Reuters. Only the most outstanding lawyers with substantial professional achievements are chosen by their peers to represent Super Lawyers. With their patented multiphase selection process, this honor reinforces our lawyers’ high standings both with the clients we work with and the legal community as a whole.
  • Our attorneys are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum which is one of the most prestigious acknowledgments a trial attorney can receive. Less than 1% of attorneys in the United States are members of this elite group, which is reserved for those who have won million-dollar or multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements. This exclusive membership demonstrates our lawyers’ exceptional skill and success in handling significant personal injury cases.
  • Our firm has been recognized as ‘Best Law Firm’ and ‘Best in Personal Injury Law’ by the Tampa Bay Times’ Best of the Best People’s Choice Award. Our firm has been the recipient of the Tampa Bay Times’ Best of the Best People’s Choice Award consecutively over the last five years. This award is a community voting based contest that chooses the best businesses, companies and services in Tampa Bay. Every year, the Tampa community members cast over 135,000 votes to choose the top businesses in the area. We are honored to have our efforts in Personal Injury law be recognized by the people of Tampa Bay.
  • Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers stands out due to our commitment to client success and our extensive expertise in personal injury law. Our attorneys have consistently secured favorable outcomes for clients, earning reputations for diligence, compassion, and legal acumen. Simply put, they are the toughest around, but also fair. Our firm is dedicated to providing personalized service, ensuring that each client receives the attention and support they deserve throughout their legal journey. You can count on Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers to have your back.

Dashcam footage can be a double-edged sword in your Tampa car accident case. On one hand, it can help establish liability and provide solid documentation of the accident, helping to prove the negligence of the driver who injured you. They also provide an objective account of what happened. They’re also safer and a more reliable source of video footage than a cell phone. As they are legal in Florida, let’s discuss the specifics of how dashcam footage could help or hurt your case after a Tampa car accident.

What Role Can a Dashcam Play in My Tampa Auto Accident Case?

Let’s first discuss the central issue when it comes to all accident cases: liability. More often than not, liability is a point of contention between the parties involved in the accident, be it who is at fault or the degree of fault each party contributed. Whatever the case, insurance companies will almost always dispute your claim or even deny it. Why? To avoid having to pay you more than they want.

Here’s the good news about having dashcam footage of the accident: it offers unbiased and indisputable footage of what really happened. This can be pivotal evidence to support your claim and give visual proof and clarify as to the sequence of events that led to your injuries. That’s great news for you as long as the other party was negligent and caused the accident (and hence, your injuries). For instance, if your dashcam is rear-facing, as opposed to forward facing, and you get rear-ended, liability is pretty clear cut.

It can give insight into how fast the other driver was traveling, if they violated any traffic laws, whether conditions that could have impacted the incident, and more. In essence, dashcam footage can be supporting evidence to help you establish liability.

Are Dash Cams Legal in Tampa?

Yes. Under Tampa law (Florida Statute 316.2004), while drivers are not allowed to have any obstructions to their view while driving, that doesn’t necessarily mean dashcams are illegal. It simply means you have to place the dashcam so it doesn’t obstruct your view. While the verbiage of the law is unclear on exactly how much windshield can be covered, most dash cams these days are designed for efficiency and safe use for drivers. Which means most dashcams are legal and usually don’t obstruct the driver’s view – at least not to the point of breaking any laws.

There’s another law in Tampa (defined under Florida Statute 934.03) that concerns privacy issues (we’ll discuss this in more detail later). This law prohibits dash cams from recording audio and using that as evidence without getting permission from anyone who is being recorded in the dashcam.

Bottom Line: Dashcam Footage Can Provide Valuable Evidence for Your Case

So, now that we know dashcams are legal in Florida, and can help your case, let’s get into the potential downside to dashcams. There are scenarios when dashcam footage can be a hindrance rather than a help.

Insurance companies could try to use the footage against you if the footage is the least bit unclear or ambiguous. This will lead to more back and forth between your attorney and the insurance companies, elongating the claims process.

As long as you don’t alter or edit the dashcam footage, you’ll likely be able to use it as evidence to support your case. Furthermore, even if the footage shows that you’re partly at fault, you can still win damage awards, but it might reduce your winnings.

The other caveat with dashcam footage is that you could get roped into more police dealings. As in, they will want to contact and question you more due to this additional evidence. In addition to that, if you get pulled over, the police can legally ask to view your dashcam footage. If there’s anything that shows you were involved in illegal activity or alludes to your contribution of fault, this can work against you rather than in your favor.

In any case, consult a knowledgeable Tampa car accident lawyer so you know your rights and can proceed accordingly so as to protect your case and your right to compensation. The last thing you want is for dashcam footage to backfire and end up being evidence that shows you were at fault, even if it was only partial fault.

Privacy Concerns From a Legal Perspective With Dashcam Footage

Not all dashcams are forward-facing, as you would imagine; some of them face backwards, and as we discussed earlier, this can provide solid evidence for a case of a fender bender or a sideswipe. What you need to know from a legal standpoint is that could be a potential privacy concern with the footage. Since most dash cams record video and audio content, the footage could potentially work for or against you. As long as you weren’t distracted or doing any illegal activity when the accident occurred, it can be evidence that works in your favor. The condition is that any persons who are being recorded must be aware and give their consent to use the footage. So you must legally get permission from anyone in your vehicle or all parties in the other vehicle if there was any audio recording on the dashcam before it’s considered admissible and valid evidence.

Preserving Dashcam Footage to Use as Evidence to Support Your Claim

To ensure you have effective and useful dashcam footage, make sure you preserve it properly. Most dashcams have a limited capacity for storage, so it’s important to keep the footage of the accident and make sure it doesn’t get overwritten by new footage. You can do this by transferring or backing up the footage immediately after the accident to be sure you have the relevant footage secured.

You Need to Establish the Credibility of Your Dashcam Footage by Meeting Certain Requirements

We’ve compiled a few tips from expert Tampa car accident lawyers to ensure you maintain the integrity of your dashcam footage so it’s good to use for your case.

  • Ensure that the dashcam has the correct metadata (i.e., time and date)
  • Do not edit your footage at all. If it comes out later that you altered or hampered the footage in any way, it won’t be valid evidence anymore.
  • If possible, get eye-witness testimonies who can verify the contents of the footage and confirm that it’s accurate according to what they witnessed.

Tips for Effectively Using Dashcam Footage to Help Your Case

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind if you plan to use dashcam footage so that it helps rather than hurts your case:

  • While a car accident is a frustrating and scary event, try to stay calm. Whatever you say or do could be captured on video and audio by the dashcam, so try your best to remain composed. Never admit fault and try to avoid arguments with the other parties as this will only escalate the tension in an already stressful situation.
  • Follow traffic rules while you’re driving. If you’re making illegal maneuvers or breaking traffic laws, this will get captured in the footage and diminish your claim.
  • Say less. Not all dash cams record audio, but if it does, the insurance company or defense attorneys can easily find a way to twist your words and use them against you.
  • If you sustained injuries, do not delay getting medical attention. This goes whether you have dashcam footage or not. The sooner you get medical attention, the better. The longer you wait to get medical help, the weaker the accident link is to your injuries.
  • Contact an attorney as soon as you can to get trustworthy legal advice.

How a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Your Case Using Dashcam Footage

Lawyers are familiar with the laws and understand how and what evidence can or can’t be used. They’ll guide you through the claims process that could otherwise be a daunting process if you try to handle it alone.

When you work with a Tampa personal injury lawyer, they already know the steps to take and can assess your case details to create a tailored strategy. You may not know where to start – from investigating the accident to collecting and preserving evidence – this can become overwhelming, especially while you have your personal obligations and you’re also injured. An attorney will help you find the key aspects of your case to highlight in order to establish liability and prove the other party’s negligence.

They can also handle communications on your behalf with insurance companies, other lawyers, and experts who can help your case. In the end, your chance of winning the maximum possible compensation comes down to having a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side.

If your case goes to court, they’ll represent you in court, too. In order to win in court you need to present a strong, clear, and convincing case to the judge and jury. Putting together a case with all of the necessary evidence and supporting components is not an easy feat.

Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Today

Dashcams are legal in Tampa and could be crucial to providing evidence for your auto accident case. However, you need experienced legal experts who know how to handle the footage responsibly and present it strategically.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver and need advice on how to proceed, call us today for a free initial consultation.

Sharing is Caring....
Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers
Free Consultation