If you were in a car accident in Miami, you probably hope that you can find some evidence that you were not at fault. Florida is a “no-fault state,” which means that, regardless of who is responsible for an accident, each person’s medical bills and attendant expenses are first covered by their own insurance. But when the costs exceed the coverage limits for personal injury protection, car accident victims can sue the other driver’s insurance to make up the difference. Dashcams, or dashboard-mounted cameras, have been around for a while, and they can come in handy when you need to be able to prove what happened during an accident.
But are they legal in Florida, and can you use them as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit?
Is It Legal to Use a Dash Cam in Florida?
First, let’s consider our first question. To answer whether it is legal to use a dashcam in Florida, we need to consider two aspects of Florida law: windshield obstruction laws and Florida electronic surveillance laws.
The relevant section of the Florida Statutes reads as follows:
No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of such vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures, or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.
Many people choose to mount their dash cams on their windshields using a suction cup apparatus. The vague wording of this section makes it impossible to determine without further research whether mounting a dashcam directly on the windshield is legal. While some local law enforcement officials may not consider a dashcam mounted on the windshield an obstruction, others might. Instead of putting the camera on the windshield and risking a moving violation, it is best to find another way to attach it that won’t block your field of vision.
Now let’s move on to Florida’s electronic surveillance laws. In Florida, it is a felony to record someone speaking without their express consent. Because many dash cams record audio as well as video, it is critical to be careful about which type of dashcam you use and whether to turn on the audio recording at all.
Can You Use Dash Cam Footage as Evidence for Your Car Accident in Miami?
Our second question is a little more difficult to answer than the first. The law is still relatively untested, so it is best to consider whether dashcam footage will be advantageous on a case-by-case basis.
However, the Florida Statutes consider video evidence to be admissible as a form of photographic evidence. The video must simply show something that pertains to the case and must be authenticated.
Dashcam footage of a car accident in Miami can be integral to proving that the other driver, not you, was acting negligently by showing driving behavior before the accident and even the accident itself. Because of this fact, it is critical that you contact and speak with an attorney about your dashcam evidence before pursuing a case by yourself.
Are you ready to pursue your case? Contact us today and set up an appointment to speak to an attorney. Call us at (888) 450-4909, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.