Are Dashboard Cameras Admissible For Montana Car Accident Claims?

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In recent years dashcams have become increasingly popular in Montana and throughout America. The advances in small camera technology have made dashcams, or alternatives like the GoPro, affordable and easy to use in cars. Having video evidence can make a big difference in Montana auto accident claims.

 

A dashcam is shorthand for dashboard camera. As the name suggests, it is a camera that sits on your dashboard or is attached to the windshield. Dashcams face forward and capture footage of the cars first-person view. Dashcam videos can be used by Montana car accident lawyers to support testimony.

How Did Dashcams Become Popular?

Dashcams came into being through their predecessors, onboard cameras, in the early 1980s. Originally designed for televising NASCAR races, they were used for auto racing as well as sailing.

Onboard camera technology was soon adopted by law enforcement in the United States. Police use of the onboard camera evolved into the dashcams we see today. While police were quick to adopt the dashcam technology, it has only become popular with civilians in recent years. The first major civilian adopters for dashcams were in Russia, due to the high amounts of fraudulent insurance claims in that country. You may have seen one of the thousands of popular Russian dashcam videos on YouTube.

While we do not have the same problems with fraud in this country, dashcams have still been adopted as a way to protect yourself in case of a car accident.

Why Are Dashcams Becoming Popular In Montana

In Montana, police are relied on to respond to automotive accidents. However, they are unable to fully reconstruct the events and rely heavily on eyewitness accounts and reviewing the damage. Furthermore, if the collision occurs in a parking lot or on private property, law enforcement will often refuse to respond because they are not required to respond under Montana law.  By using a dashcam, Montana drivers are protecting themselves by helping to give an accurate portrayal of the events leading up to an accident.

If your automobile accident claim proceeds into a lawsuit, dashboard cameras can be especially valuable. Having video evidence makes it much easier to seek damages, as it can help corroborate your version of events. Dashcams can help in a civil case for car accident lawyers or in personal injury claims if the video can prove that the other driver is at fault.  It can also help support an injured person’s claim for damages by demonstrating the severity of a particular collision. Even cyclists are adopting dashcam technology to make the roads safer for Montana cyclists.

Are Dashcams Legal In Montana?

The use of dashcams in your vehicle is protected by Montana law. Montana Code 45-8-213 only prevents video recording of private property, through the use of a hidden recording device, or if recorded with malicious intent. Dashcams, used for their intended purpose, do not fall under these restrictions. Dashcam footage, like other video formats, are admissible in Montana courts if the proper foundation is established. To be admissible, you must prove the footage is relevant, and you must be able to authenticate that the video accurately portrays the events of the accident.

 

Do Insurance Companies Accept Dashcam Footage?

Most insurance companies will consider dashcam footage when investigating a claim. In Europe, some insurance companies actually provide discounts to dashcam users. This practice is not yet common in the United States, but as dashcam use grows and continues to prove useful in car accident cases, it may become commonplace.

 

Have You Been Involved In An Automobile Accident?

If you have been involved in an automobile accident in Montana you will need representation. Even if you have dashcam footage, it is important to protect your rights and hire a Montana car accident lawyer today. They will help guide you through the complexities of your case and make sure you are fairly represented.