Key Points of This Article:
- Dash cams are legal in Detroit and Michigan.
- Video consent and dash cam regulations must be followed.
- Dash cam footage can benefit your personal injury case.
With advancements in tech, dash cams are becoming increasingly popular amongst drivers. At first, they were used mainly by police and commercial vehicles to ensure compliance and safety. But now, even passenger vehicle drivers are using them to provide evidence in case of an accident.
The question of whether or not a dash cam is useful depends on the individual situation. In most cases, dash cams can help provide the necessary video evidence needed to help you win a case if you are involved in an accident. However, the issue is that there are also situations where the recording can be used against you and can negatively impact your claim.
Generally speaking, dash cams aren’t a bad idea; you just need to be mindful of where and how you use them. If you are involved in a car accident and are unsure whether you should use your dash cam footage, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can review your case and the footage and let you know if it can help you or be used against you.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Detroit?
Technically, dash cams are legal in all 50 states, including Michigan. However, there are particulars about how the camera is mounted and who you are recording. According to Michigan legislature, Section 257.708b states that:
- Visual devices either need to be “built into the dashboard, center console, instrument panel, rearview mirror, or other control area of the vehicle and shall meet all applicable federal motor vehicle dash safety standards.”
- Aftermarket devices that are bought and later installed must be “mounted on the windshield or above the dashboard, but shall not be mounted within the deployment profile of the vehicle airbags or in a manner that interferes with the operator’s view or control.”
This essentially means that if you have a dash cam, it must be located in an area so as not to obstruct the driver’s view or interfere with their ability to operate the vehicle. Additionally, Michigan is one of several states with video consent laws for all parties being recorded. This generally does not apply to those captured on camera outside of the vehicle but refers to passengers in the vehicle being recorded.
Dash cams usually only visually record what happens outside the vehicle, but they do often capture audio from anyone speaking inside the vehicle. If you have a dash cam that is recording audio as well as video clips, you will need to ask permission from any passenger that rides with you and get their approval or consent.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that while the dash cam video footage you capture could benefit you, the audio could be used against you if there are claims that what was being said or done inside the car could be considered a distraction. Distracted driving is a cause of accidents, so you could be held partially liable if the audio recording makes it seem as though you were distracted and contributed to the accident.
How Dash Cams Can Benefit Your Personal Injury Case in Detroit
When you are injured in an accident and seeking to file a personal injury claim or even a lawsuit, dash cam footage can benefit your case in a few ways, including:
- Helping you prove fault: It can sometimes be difficult to prove which driver was actually at fault after an accident. Additionally, there are some things that police might miss or report incorrectly when they are gathering witness statements and information from the drivers involved. However, with dash cams, you can provide more clear and substantial evidence that can show exactly what happened and who was at fault.
- Helping you catch drivers that flee the scene: In some cases, other drivers involved may try to flee the scene to avoid getting a ticket or because they don’t have insurance coverage. There are any number of reasons why someone might not want to stick around after an accident, especially if they know it was their fault. But, with a dash cam, you might be able to catch their image on camera or their license plate number before they flee, which can help police find them and hold them accountable.
- Helping you fight against insurance companies: While insurance companies are meant to protect drivers and provide them with the compensation they need after an accident, it is not uncommon for them to try to find ways to reduce settlement amounts. However, with a dash cam, it is less likely that they will deny your claim when there is clear evidence of what happened.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm
If you have questions about dash cam footage you recorded during an accident, the experts at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help. Not all dash cam footage is beneficial, and even if it is useful, other parties may still try to use it against you. We have experience helping victims of car accidents get the compensation they deserve and will use whatever evidence we can to help win your case. Call our Michigan personal injury lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) to speak with an experienced attorney. You’ll pay nothing until we settle your personal injury case.