Written by: Portrait Photo Of Chad M. Prentice Chad M. Prentice

California laws allow individuals injured by a motor vehicle to use footage from a mounted dashboard or body camera to prove their claim. Saved video footage with a date and timestamp may help show the court which party is at fault when catastrophic injuries occur. 

Footage that logs a vehicle’s GPS coordinates may help win a case when it matches information compiled by an official investigation. Camera footage, however, cannot replace a report or evidence compiled by a law enforcement official that the court used to determine fault. 

California’s comparative negligence standard 

The Golden State’s courts generally assign liability to all parties involved in an accident. By using a comparative negligence standard, an injured motorcyclist may find that a jury determined he or she caused some of the harm or damage. 

When a verdict results in a financial award, the jury may reduce it by the percentage it finds the victim is at fault. For example, if a victim has 10% responsibility for causing an accident, a $100,000 verdict will have a 10% reduction. The party found 90% liable for the collision may need to pay $90,000 to the victim for his or her damages. 

Showing the court that a motorist had full responsibility for a collision with a motorcyclist may require evidence, such as video, photographs or eyewitness testimony. 

Camera footage evidence  

A recent incident helps to illustrate how evidence from a camera may contribute to a personal injury case. A Kia Optima on the 405 Freeway failed to signal while exiting from the carpool lane. The vehicle struck a motorcycle and catapulted the rider across three lanes until he slammed into a flatbed trailer. The motorcyclist required hospitalization for catastrophic industries. A second motorcyclist captured the incident with a camera mounted on his helmet, as reported by ABC13 News. 

The court reviewed the footage to determine the responsible parties. The jury found the Kia driver and his employer 100% liable for the motorcyclist’s broken bones and numerous surgeries. The verdict awarded the 26-year-old motorcyclist nearly $22 million in damages. 

By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on April 8, 2020