In today’s day and age, surveillance cameras are everywhere. In fact, you might be surprised at the number of video cameras that record your commute each day. But how easy is it to obtain a copy of this footage when you need it?
Accidents often occur at intersections or along major thoroughfares, so if yours took place on a busy street or even on I-10, it was likely caught on camera. You can request the footage yourself, or an attorney can issue a subpoena demanding it. Learn more about where to obtain Phoenix traffic camera footage to use as evidence in the car accident claims process.
Determining Where to Get the Footage
The first step you’ll need to take when trying to secure traffic footage is to locate the camera and the agency that controls the footage. This will, of course, depend on where your car accident occurred. Most law enforcement cameras are pointing toward areas where the traffic is heaviest and where collisions are most likely to occur.
Perhaps your accident took place at an intersection equipped with red light cameras, or maybe you were driving down a busy street or freeway with birdseye cameras. It is also possible that a nearby business caught your accident on one of their outdoor surveillance videos.
If you’re unsure of which cameras may have recorded the incident, revisit the scene, or look up the location on Google StreetView.
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Traffic Cameras on I-10 in Phoenix
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has positioned more than 400 cameras statewide, the majority of which are located along the freeways in Phoenix and Tucson.
These cameras help manage traffic, particularly when an accident blocks the roadway. When the ADOT Traffic Operations Center finds out about a freeway incident, its dispatchers use live camera feeds to pinpoint the problem and dispatch emergency personnel.
Additionally, those same traffic feeds are available to the public through az511.gov. The live views of I-10 are also available via the “nav bug” website. While live traffic feeds are easy to access online, getting recorded footage after the fact might be another story.
Red Light Cameras and Freeway Surveillance
Whether you’re needing to secure footage from freeway traffic cameras or red light cameras, you’ll likely be dealing with public entities that have specific procedures and requirements for the release of public surveillance videos. The footage will likely need to be obtained from either the City of Phoenix Police Department or the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
It never hurts to ask for a copy of the video, but it’s possible they will deny your request since they are not legally obligated to put in the work it would take to pinpoint the relevant portion of the video. That said, an experienced Phoenix accident attorney will know how to issue a subpoena that demands the release of the relevant footage.
Keep in mind that these agencies do not keep old footage indefinitely. In light of this fact, you or your attorney should act quickly as possible before the cameras automatically erase their old data.
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Obtaining Evidence in an Arizona Accident Case
Like many other states, Arizona is a comparative fault state. Comparative fault simply means that multiple individuals and entities involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of liability for their share of the blame. Because of this legal principle, your case needs to be solid to prove the other party was the only one at fault.
A video would be a strong piece of evidence because it would allow a judge or jury to see what happened with their own eyes. The challenge is finding out whether such a video exists and then making sure it is legally admissible in court.
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How a Lawyer Can Help
Lawyers are trained to locate, evaluate, and present evidence. In order to legally present the evidence and help you win your case, an experienced personal injury attorney can do the following:
Acquire the Footage Legally
Once you locate the footage, you need to learn who will release this data. You will have to find out who is in charge and obtain the footage in a legal way so that the other side doesn’t try to claim that the video has been altered.
Get the Footage in a Timely Manner
Getting a copy of the video for your case on your own will likely be challenging. Time is of the essence in an accident claim, so you can’t just sit around hoping to obtain a copy of the video.
Build a Solid Case Within the Required Time Frame
Fortunately, if you hire an attorney, your attorney will know how to handle the situation in a way that meets all required deadlines. And since reputable personal injury lawyers accept cases on contingency, you won’t even have to pay until your case is over.
Contact Us About Your Phoenix Traffic Accident
Dealing directly with insurance companies can be risky because they have their own interests to protect. Not only that, but it can be hard to focus on your case while trying to get the necessary medical treatments for yourself or an injured loved one. Still, in order to get the compensation you need, you must prove the other party was negligent.
Getting in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer will go a long way in accessing traffic camera footage, proving negligence, and getting a great settlement. Our team at Zanes Law can evaluate your case for free. If we think we can win, we’ll take you on as a client without any upfront cost to you. Contact us today!