In the aftermath of a car accident, real-time statements, images of the scene, and witness accounts may be captured in the video footage of police body cameras or body cams. This valuable video documentation can be used by experienced car accident attorneys to help determine fault in a motor vehicle accident and help you get compensated for your injuries.
The Milwaukee car accident lawyers at Murphy & Prachthauser want to help you understand what to do after an accident, and how to be prepared. Continue reading to learn how body cam technology is used, how it can be requested, and how body cam footage can help support your car accident injury claim.
How Many Police Departments Use Body Cams?
According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2018, 47-percent of police agencies nationwide are using body cams for their officers, 69-percent still rely on dashboard cameras, and 38-percent use personal audio recorders. All types of recorded evidence are extremely helpful in supporting a car accident lawsuit.
In 2018, a survey commissioned by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association concluded that 94-percent of state residents favored body cams for officers.
Larger Wisconsin cities, including Metro-Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay, are actively using body camera technology as a regular piece of the police uniform
As body cameras become more affordable, body cam technology is being used more often as standard protection to keep officers safe and also accountable in documenting accident scenes and to corroborate reports. To support public safety, police departments often receive requests for these body cam videos by attorneys to use in court cases, especially motor vehicle accidents.
How Can Police Body Cam Footage Help Your Accident Claim?
A police officer body cam is not likely going to capture an accident as it occurs, but it can still help support a car accident injury claim. After an accident has occurred, the footage may confirm several important factors to help piece together the facts of the accident and help determine a driver’s fault. A few examples include:
- The position of vehicles in the crash. It is important that you take photos after a car accident, but the police body cam footage can provide independent confirmation of where the vehicles crashed and how they may have collided.
- The surrounding area. Video proof of where the accident took place and the surrounding area may help an accident lawsuit. Footage may show the weather and road conditions, and also show any physical barriers or property that may have played a role in the accident.
- Driver behavior. Police body cam video footage may show if a driver was drunk, under the influence of drugs, or suffering a medical emergency during the time of the accident.
- Other relevant factors to support your case. Extra evidence in any form can help support an accident injury claim. Video footage of your injuries or other details may prove beneficial to support your case.
If you were recently in a motor vehicle accident and would like to know if police body cam video or other technology is available for review, please contact our team now.
Accessing Body Cam Footage to Use as Evidence in Milwaukee
When a car accident attorney can access video to support insurance claims or legal cases, it can be very beneficial. The 2019 Wisconsin Act or Senate Bill 50, details policy related to body cameras on law enforcement officers in Wisconsin.
The bill requires all body camera data to be retained for a minimum of 120 days after the date of recording. Video used in court proceedings and significant investigations must be preserved until final disposition, including appeals, a determination from the court, or that the data are no longer needed, or by order from the court or hearing examiner.
An attorney can help determine if police body cam footage or another type of police collected evidence is available and access it quickly on your behalf.
This makes it extremely important to work with a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able after your motor vehicle accident. Accessing body cam footage before it is deleted may be critical to support your car accident claim. An experienced attorney will know how to request police body cam footage. In addition, in communities where body cam technology is not used, recording systems that capture squad car cameras and uniform microphones can also be retained and preserved.
Do you have any questions for our team of personal injury attorneys? Let us know how we can help.
Working With a Milwaukee Car Accident Attorney
The Milwaukee car accident lawyers at Murphy & Prachthauser have a long tradition of exclusively practicing personal injury law. A consultation with one of our experienced attorneys is free, and they would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Hiring Milwaukee car accident attorneys who are familiar with personal injury cases will help ensure the insurance company does not take advantage of you and that your case is presented with all the evidence you need to win.
In addition, our attorneys can help you gather evidence, including police body camera footage, communicate to insurance adjusters, conduct investigations, and push back against low settlement offers. There is no upfront cost to you for hiring us to provide these services. We are only paid for our legal services if we help you recover.
Murphy & Prachthauser attorneys practice law the way it should be. We are motivated and equipped to do our best for you. If you are looking for an attorney to help discuss a personal injury or motor vehicle accident claim, please complete a free online case evaluation. We have an experienced team of lawyers available and ready to work on your behalf.