If you could have an accessory for your car that could potentially help you out of a jam with your insurance company, you would buy it? If you said yes, then there is good news. This device is already in place. We are talking about dashboard cameras – or dashcams. Many of today's vehicles have rear-view cameras to help drivers safely back out of parking spaces, and some even have accident avoidance systems.
How does the dashcam work?
With various new technologies, you may be wondering if it's worth installing a dashcam in your vehicle. Dashcams aren't as new as you might think. Police cars in New Orleans and around the country have been using them for years. However, most average drivers do not have dashcams. These are cameras mounted on the dashboard, most devices are attached to the inside of the windshield with a suction cup. They record both audio and video and are available in single, dual and four-channel versions. A single-channel dashcam is a front-facing recorder that looks out the front windshield, while a dual / dual-channel dashcam uses two cameras to record footage from both the front and rear of the vehicle. A four-channel dashcam captures feed from all four directions, but these are extremely rare in passenger cars and are usually used in commercial vehicles.
Depending on the product you buy, a dashcam may require manual activation every time you want to use it, or it may have an automatic activation feature that switches the camera the minute you crank the engine. Most basic dashcams have limited memory and can only store a few hours of video recording. Such devices have an automatic rewrite function that automatically deletes the data unless it is transferred to another device. High-end versions, however, can be connected to an app that enables cloud storage of clips.
How Dash Cam can be beneficial for you?
If you caused a car accident, a dashcam could provide solid proof that you were at fault and open yourself up to liability for damages related to the accident. This will certainly not help you. However, if you are making a car accident claim because someone else caused an accident, a dashcam in your vehicle can help. If the other side vigorously disputes your car accident claim, footage from your dashcam can be valuable evidence to support your claim. Police reports and eyewitness statements provide only a narrative of how the car accident happened. In most cases, law enforcement agencies must compile statements because they did not witness the crash. A dashcam can help you by providing important evidence, preventing your insurance premiums from going up, preventing insurance fraud, and shortening the amount of time it takes to resolve your car accident claim.
Provide key evidence to support your claim
A dashcam captures what happens during an accident, providing visual evidence that matches the narrative in other reports. Also, it tells your version of the story more clearly than you can. Explaining how an accident happens isn't always easy, and dashcam footage makes it simple. Unfortunately, some drivers lie about their role in an accident to avoid citations and/or liability. Dashcams record things that make it difficult for other drivers to make false statements.
Dashcam footage can ultimately prove whether the driver violated traffic laws and absolve you of fault for your car accident claim. A dashcam is especially advantageous when a hit-and-run driver leaves the scene of an accident. At a minimum, camera footage provides the make and model of the vehicle, but sometimes footage also shows license plates, making it easy for police to track down the driver.
Preventing an increase in auto insurance premiums
If you have enough of the right evidence to prove that you did not contribute to the cause of an auto accident, it is unlikely that your auto insurer will raise your premiums. The differing testimony of witnesses and the police officer's story about how the accident happened can sometimes be cloudy. Dashcam footage supports your claim and makes it hard for the other side to shift the blame your way. Note, however, that not all auto insurance carriers accept dashcam footage as reliable evidence for a claim. However, your attorney can search nearby video surveillance footage, traffic cameras, and other sources of photographic evidence to support the footage and your claim.
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Prevention of insurance fraud
Unfortunately, morally bankrupt people sometimes choose to commit insurance fraud. You intentionally cause a car accident, blame the other driver, and try to extort money from the driver. These scammers are looking for drivers in high-end vehicles to have the best chance of getting money from the driver or the driver's insurance company. They could claim to have a hidden injury, like whiplash or a painful back injury. They use this to claim money for medical bills, lost wages, and their pain and suffering. Not all scammers are smart enough to look for a dashcam, and many are hard to spot in advance. If you put a dashcam in your car, make sure you don't fall victim to a scammer trying to get money from you or your insurance company.
Accelerate your car accident claim
Video footage from your dashcam can be one of the most compelling pieces of evidence in your car accident claim. If the insurance companies involved accept the quality of the footage, they won't have to spend hours sorting through witness statements, reviewing photographic evidence and talking to witnesses. In addition, having dashcam footage means that you do not have to have repeated conversations about the crash with your insurer, as this replaces your verbal account of the crash. Many car accident claims take months, especially when there are liability disputes. Dashcam footage speeds up claims as it removes doubts and questions that exist in some claims.
Choosing the right dashcam
A dashcam of decent quality costs $60 to $150. The simplest dashcams plug into the car's cigarette lighter or discharge a battery. Others are a bit more complicated to install because they are connected to the car's electrical system. Experts recommend a camera in HD quality; otherwise, your recordings may miss important details such as facial features or license plates. Before you install your dashcam, make sure you know your local laws regarding window objects to ensure you don't get a ticket for obstructing your view. Clean the glass and then mount the camera based on the manufacturer's recommendations.
If you need to run wires to your cigarette lighter, you can get them out of the way by taping or attaching them to the nearest windshield edge and then along with the dashboard. If your dashcam taps into your car's electrical system for power, it's probably best to have it installed by a professional.