More and more commercial trucks come with cameras and videos already built into the vehicle. Many fleets are requiring that their trucks come with these types of video equipment. While cameras can be used to help drivers with blind spots, others like dash cams can help show what a driver was doing and what the traffic conditions were when the accident occurred. In other words, these cameras and videos can look inside the truck at the driver and outside the truck to see the truck’s relationship to other vehicles, intersections, and other road conditions.
Our South Carolina truck accident lawyers now make it a custom in truck accident cases to seek out any dash cams or other digital equipment that recorded the accident – from immediately before the accident to the accident itself to the immediate aftermath. We also investigate whether there are any other recordings, such as the video recordings kept by local businesses or other drivers that show how the accident happened.
How do truck cameras work?
There are numerous models and versions of truck cameras and video equipment. Some of their common features include:
- A tracking system so the date and location of the accident can be identified
- Identification of the driver and the truck
- Continual video for the truck’s entire journey, even if the journey is a cross-country trip
- A lighting system for night-time travel
- The ability to add additional cameras to get a full and wide-angle perspective
According to Lytx, a telematics company, dashboard cameras (dashcams) record high-quality video and audio footage. They’re normally installed inside the cab on or close to the windshield. Dashcams use machine vision and artificial intelligence that provide continuous monitoring and real-time alerts. They are designed by default to “capture footage of risky driving events or behaviors, like hard braking, swerving, or cell phone use.”
Dash cams can provide a 360-degree view in and around the truck. Per Lytx, drivers can choose “between road view, inside view, or both.” They can also use multiple cameras for a variety of different views (cargo, rear, left, right, etc.).
What information from truck videos help prove liability?
Generally, any dash cam or comparable video and audio evidence is discoverable. That means that our South Carolina truck accident lawyers will demand to see the video and audio footage during the discovery phase of your case.
Dash cams can provide the following types of evidence that can help show that a truck driver or a trucking company that employed or used the services of the driver is responsible for your injuries or the death of a loved one. For example, they may show:
- That the truck driver was driving while distracted. Some of the signs of truck driver distraction can include texting while driving, using a smartphone while driving, eating or drinking while driving, adjusting an entertainment device, smoking, or any other activity that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and mind off of the traffic.
- That the driver was fatigued. Signs of fatigue may include swerving, speeding, and other truck movements. Personal signs could include drinking coffee, yawning, or losing focus in some manner.
- That the driver violated some traffic law. Dash cams can show that the driver was speeding, in the wrong lane, too close to cars other cars, ran through a red light, or other violations.
- That the driver failed to check for blind spots. Truck drivers need to understand their blind spots. Drivers need to understand when drivers are close to them either by using some type of digital assistance or continually looking around them before making any turns or sudden moves.
- The weather conditions. Dash cams can show whether it was wet, sunny, foggy, slippery, or otherwise dangerous.
Dash cams can also show how the truck accident happened. The photographs and video can help show that the driver caused a rear-end collision, head-on crash, broadside, jackknife, rollover, wide-turn accident, underride accident, or any other type of truck accident. The cameras/video may also show how the chain of events in a multi-vehicle crash unfolded. The digital view may even help to show that a driver lost control of his vehicle due to shifting cargo or what happened after cargo spilled onto the highway.
Can you prove truck accident liability without a video?
Often, many truck accident cases involve the testimony of the truck driver and the testimony of the victims. Visual evidence helps to show that your version of the events is the most credible version.
However, if we don’t have video, our personal injury lawyers are skilled at questioning the defendants and any witnesses who saw or who have information about the truck accident.
We work with our own investigators, the police, and traffic reconstruction experts (when necessary) to help show how your accident occurred. Other types of physical evidence that can help show how a truck crash happened and who is responsible include the layout of the traffic site (such as the number of lanes, nearby intersections, speed limits, landscaping, skid marks, and other physical evidence). The location and extent of the damage to the vehicles can help prove fault. We examine the truck contracts and any other evidence that might indicate a driver was pressured to speed, and many other types of evidence to help make your claim as strong as possible.
At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, our South Carolina truck accident lawyers work to obtain every item of evidence, including camera and video footage, to help hold drivers and trucking companies accountable. Truck accidents often cause devastating injuries. Many truck accidents are fatal. To schedule a no-cost case review, call our offices or fill out our contact form today. Your consultation is always confidential.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood