If you get injured in a car accident in Mississippi and intend to file a claim, nothing can help your case as much as traffic camera footage. Generally, camera footage or a traffic violation or an accident can come from multiple sources, including:
- Dash cameras installed on police vehicles
- Actual traffic cameras, including automated speed enforcement cameras and red light cameras
- Business surveillance cameras
- Footage from home surveillance systems of witnesses’ cellphones
Obtaining such footage can go a long way in firming up your compensation claim. Nonetheless, the process of obtaining traffic camera footage in Mississippi is complicated. The ease of accessing the footage depends on the person that recorded the traffic violation or accident.
Using Traffic Camera Footage to Reinforce Your Case
Traffic camera footage is admissible in court when you file a compensation claim. Nevertheless, the law enforcement officers who write the initial accident report aren’t mandated to tell you where the cameras are. Finding footage sources may require some personal detective work because most cities in Mississippi have more road safety cameras than traffic cameras.
The availability of the footage often depends on where you were when the accident happened. If you were on a heavily trafficked thoroughfare or highway, the chances of finding footage from nearby cameras are high. Storage limitations also count when it comes to accessing accident footage.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Obtaining Traffic Camera Footage in Mississippi
As is the case elsewhere, traffic cameras in Mississippi are installed to record videos or take photos on highways and streets. These cameras get activated when someone drives too fast or crosses through posted intersections. They only record the number of vehicles passing at that section of the highway, the speed they are traveling, and traffic violations committed by the motorists.
The cameras periodically capture crashes occurring within their coverage area and other traffic information, including accidents that block traffic lights and lanes. However, not all traffic cameras record footage, and if they do, it depends on the local government’s intention of installing them.
The Challenges to Obtaining Traffic Camera Footage
If you get involved in an accident in Mississippi within the coverage area of traffic cameras, you may be able to obtain the footage and use it as evidence when filing a compensation claim. However, it’s sometimes difficult to access the footage, especially if you’re not a law enforcement officer. Likewise, obtaining the footage will be challenging if the camera’s purpose wasn’t to record traffic footage but ended up recording your accident.
Regular red-light and traffic cameras are not the only sources of footage evidence. Most offices, stores, private businesses, and even homes have surveillance cameras that can capture car crashes occurring within their view. Other often overlooked traffic camera video sources include other motorists’ dash-cams and videos recorded by witnesses on their phones.
It’s best to get hold of any footage depicting your accident as soon as possible. Apart from the police, other agencies also archive such footage. However, private businesses are not under any obligation to keep the videos. Consulting a car accident attorney in Mississippi will give you an idea of the types of videos that would be helpful to your case.
Can You Request Footage Recorded by Street Cameras?
If you’re looking to obtain traffic camera footage from government-owned and operated cameras, you face an uphill task. The chances of obtaining the footage are low unless you’re working with a qualified attorney. Indeed, it doesn’t hurt to request the footage from the relevant authority yourself, but your request might be turned down. Likewise, few agencies are willing to spend time trying to locate the particular footage.
Red-light cameras are installed to catch red-light violators and issue tickets. They aren’t meant to be video watchdogs. Although they may help you prove fault when filing a compensation claim after an accident, obtaining the footage is always the challenging part.
With so many agencies and departments playing a role in monitoring and recording traffic footage throughout Mississippi, tracking down the department that may have captured your incident can be a challenging task. However, obtaining the footage could be easier if you have an accident lawyer by your side to help you navigate the red tape.
How Long does the State of Mississippi Keep Traffic Camera Footage?
There’s no right answer to this question because it all depends on the jurisdiction where the traffic cameras are. In places where traffic cameras record, the relevant agencies may store their footage for as little as three days. Also, most of these cameras don’t capture videos but are primarily used in real-time traffic monitoring.
It’s advisable to contact the department that manages traffic cameras near the accident scene as soon as possible. Also, find out what your policy concerning such footage is. Before you contact the authorities, it’s best to remember that most traffic cameras seldom record videos. Evidence collected by the police at the crash scene, the accident report, and your lawyer’s evidence often have greater significance to your case.
Accessing Camera Footage as a Partially At-Fault Driver
Mississippi law allows you to receive personal injury compensation if you partially contributed to the accident. In this case, your compensation will depend on your assigned percentage of the blame.
Since there isn’t a formula for determining the percentage of fault, obtaining traffic camera footage of the accident can increase your settlement. With the footage, your attorney could argue for the lowering of your percentage of fault and an increase in the settlement.
How the Attorneys at Morris Bart Can Help
Whether there’s traffic camera footage of your accident or not, you shouldn’t assume your personal injury claim isn’t valuable. The personal injury lawyers at the law offices are there to help you obtain as much evidence as possible to establish liability and ensure you get compensated fairly and on time.
If you get hurt in a car accident or suffer losses and need to obtain traffic camera footage or file a compensation claim, contact us online or call our attorneys to schedule a free consultation.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.