Caught on Camera: Could a dash cam help your claim?

Taking Action

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When you get behind the wheel, you never know what you might spot or witness on the road. 

Dash camera video from law enforcement has certainly shown us that. However, dash cams are not just for patrol cars anymore. 

Every day, drivers are now capturing on camera everything from fiery crashes to cars flying out of nowhere.

“I got it originally in case we were in a wreck for insurance purposes,” said Kristin Biswell, who caught on camera far more than she ever imagined. “All of a sudden out of nowhere, this car comes around speeding like crazy.”  

The small camera mounted to her windshield offered video proof of an erratic driver. 

Mike Fisher, a local State Farm Insurance agent, has been driving with a dash cam for five years now.

“It is just an $85 dash cam that attaches to your factory rear view mirror,” Fisher explained. “It literally plugs into the cigarette lighter.”

As soon as Fisher hits the road, it’s rolling. He once caught on camera a close call with deer. 

“It just gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing that in the event of an accident, there is documented proof of what happens,” Fisher said. 

Fisher tells 8News he believes it can absolutely help with liability claims.  

“We have a lot of accidents where both parties are claiming the green. With the dash cam, it shows who had the red light, who had the green light,” Fisher explained. 

8News recently reported on dangerous road debris and the damage it can cause. We wondered if a dash cam could help with incidents like that, where something comes flying out of nowhere, shattering your windshield. 

Fisher and personal injury attorney Chris Jones with Allen & Allen agree that video recording could help your case.  

“If you have the footage, then that could be exactly what you need to pinpoint where that thing came from,” Jones said. 

According to Jones, personal dash cam video is becoming more common in the courtroom.  

“We are seeing an increase in dash cams, especially as they get cheaper for the consumer,” Jones said.  

Jones told 8News he wishes more of his clients had it. 

“That can be an awesome thing in terms of settlement because there is no question about how the accident occurred,” Jones said. “You have real-time, non-biased evidence of how the accident took place.”

Dash cam prices can range from $40 to $500 dollars, depending on the features.

Anthony Davis, the owner of Audio Image on Broad Street in Henrico County, showed 8News a small camera Garmin version camera that sells for about $299. 

“One item we stock is a Garmin piece small camera that you see can be dash mounted,” Davis said. 

Davis also showed 8News another camera by Waylens that keeps surveillance of your car.  

“You have a direct view of your car on your cell phone at all times. So if you’re parked and somebody actually runs into your car, you’ve got a recording to the cloud of your car getting hit,” Davis explained.  

The camera also covers all angles. 

“This actually gives you a 360 view of the vehicle at all times. It has a camera that faces forward, it has a camera that faces rear,” Davis said. 

Audio Image will install a dash camera for you for a fee. 

But beyond claims, Fisher sees this extra set of eyes as an added safety feature.

“I do think subconsciously it makes me a better driver. Every car that I will ever drive will always have a dash cam,” Fisher said.

8News is told that dash cams are a great tool for parents with young drivers. Some units have GPS tracking, so you can keep tabs on your teen and their driving. 

If you’ve settled or claim or won a case with your dash cam video, 8News wants to hear from you. Send an email to iReport8@wric.com.

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