In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a traffic accident, obtaining traffic camera footage can be a critical step in protecting your legal rights. Traffic camera footage can provide objective insights into the accident’s circumstances, including the actions of all parties involved.
In many Alabama cities, such as Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, or Birmingham, traffic cameras are strategically positioned to capture a wide array of incidents. Identifying the authorities operating these cameras and requesting video footage of your accident can help you obtain crucial evidence substantiating your account of the events.
The Importance of Traffic Camera Footage for Your Claim
Traffic cameras are essential for understanding auto accidents on Alabama’s public roads. From red light cameras stationed at intersections to speed cameras monitoring roadways and surveillance cameras overseeing highways and busy school zones, they offer a comprehensive lens into traffic incidents. This footage provides a clear, impartial perspective of accidents, pinpointing accountability when collisions happen.
Unlike human recollections, which emotions, stress, or biases can sway, traffic camera recordings are a more consistent and trustworthy source. For this reason, insurance firms and attorneys frequently rely on them in personal injury cases.
How to Acquire Traffic Camera Footage, Step-by-step
Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be daunting, but securing evidence like traffic camera footage can support your case. You can work with an experienced Alabama auto accident attorney from The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers to take the following steps and obtain traffic camera footage:
- Identify the relevant authorities. Begin by determining which agency or department oversees the traffic camera. In Alabama, traffic camera footage is typically managed by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), or a local law enforcement agency or municipality.
- Locate the specific camera. Specify which camera has recorded the events. You can typically use the camera’s geographic location (e.g., a street or intersection). This will ensure the right footage is retrieved when you make a formal request.
- Check availability. Before submitting a request, contact the relevant department to determine if the footage from the desired date and time is available. Some cameras might not record continuously, or the data might have been overwritten.
- Gather personal documentation. Prepare necessary identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, to prove your identity and validate your interest in the footage, especially if you are a victim. This can also include a copy of your police accident report that notes the time and date of the collision.
- Draft a formal request. Write a letter specifying the date, time, and location of the footage you seek. Describe the incident and the reason for your request. If working with an attorney, have them review or draft a letter to ensure all legal requirements are met.
- Include any fees. Some municipalities may require a fee to process your request. Check with the relevant authority for applicable fees and include them with your request.
- Submit a formal request. Send the request and any necessary documentation and fees to the relevant department. Procedures will vary depending on the authority in managing the traffic camera footage. For example, you may be able to seek footage from an ALDOT traffic cam through the Alabama Open Records Request Form.
- Consult with your attorney. Once you have the footage, review it with your attorney. They can help interpret the visuals and determine the best way to incorporate them into the evidence for your claim. If there are any issues with obtaining the footage, your attorney can help guide you through the process and handle communications with the relevant authorities.
What if I Can’t Get Traffic Camera Footage?
Despite being helpful evidence in a car accident claim, obtaining traffic camera footage can present challenges. Most entities only keep traffic cam footage for short periods; technical malfunctions can occasionally make cameras non-operational, and bureaucratic processes can restrict your access.
If acquiring this footage is unsuccessful, you and your Alabama car accident lawyer
can use alternative evidence sources to prove your claim, including:
- Witness testimonies. Individuals present at the scene can offer detailed accounts of the incident or their own video recordings, such as from a smartphone.
- Nearby business surveillance cameras. Establishments close to the accident location might have privately owned cameras that capture different viewpoints of the event.
- Vehicle dashcams. These offer a first-person perspective of the accident, providing insights into the actions and reactions of the driver. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with one, other drivers involved in the accident may have recorded the events with theirs.
- Physical evidence. Traces of the accident, such as skid marks, debris, vehicle damage, and other on-site evidence, can show the cause and progression of the accident.
- Police report. Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene compile reports detailing their observations, statements from involved parties, and diagrams. An accurate police report can be a critical piece of evidence.
Get Evidence to Support Your Case with The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers
If you were involved in a traffic accident in Alabama due to another driver’s negligence, obtaining reliable evidence of the collision is critical. Video recordings of the accident can help prove the other party is responsible for your injuries and property damage.
At The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers, we represent victims of auto accidents. Our Alabama traffic accident attorneys can gather video footage and other evidence to help you build the strongest possible case and recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.