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Benefits of Traffic and Red-Light Camera Footage for Your St. Cloud Car Accident Case 

Benefits of Traffic and Red-Light Camera Footage for Your St. Cloud Car Accident Case

Experiencing a car accident is a stressful event, and trying to reconstruct the events to establish another driver’s fault can be difficult. Establishing liability or fault of another party is a crucial aspect of any car accident case.  Our car accident lawyers in St. Cloud often use traffic and red light camera footage when building personal injury claims on behalf of our clients to prove negligence. This evidence can be invaluable to prove negligence on the part of another party, particularly when insurance companies deny liability.

Red Light Camera Technology

Red light cameras are often placed on poles at the four corners of intersections. These cameras are designed to capture photographic and video evidence of the intersection from various angles. They are designed and maintained to document red-light violations and intersection collisions. Red-light cameras have three components:

  • Triggers;
  • Camera(s); and
  • A computer

Each camera has a specified detection zone, which typically contains two loop triggers buried underground near the stop line or crosswalk. These zones are designed to detect vehicles as they cross a specific point on the road. The computer acts as the intermediary between these triggers and the traffic lights. When a vehicle crosses the detection zone above a certain speed while the traffic light is red, it triggers a signal to the computer to start recording.

Why are Traffic Cameras Critical Evidence in Personal Injury Cases?

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is not something you can prepare for. When it does happen, you may feel stressed and anxious.  When that happens, it can be very difficult to recall the specific details of the event. For this reason, it is important to gather additional evidence before it disappears. Securing traffic light camera footage after an accident can substantiate and establish the other driver’s negligence.  However, traffic light camera footage typically needs to be preserved within a certain period of time, otherwise the footage may be lost forever.

While credible witnesses are often helpful in winning a car crash case, they may not be willing to cooperate, their story may change, or they may be unavailable. Instead of relying on eyewitnesses, which studies show are often unreliable, using camera footage from red light cameras or traffic cameras can be extremely helpful, as even the most skeptical juries will believe what they see with their own eyes.

Your experienced Minnesota car accident lawyer can help you determine if such footage exists and help retrieve and preserve the camera footage before it is erased. This type of evidence can help prove that another person was responsible for the accident, allowing you to recover your damages.

How Traffic Camera Footage Can Help

While red light cameras have existed for decades, their popularity has surged in the past decade. Some states exclusively utilize them to capture red light violations and speeders, while others employ them to monitor traffic conditions in and around an intersection.

Red-light camera footage proves valuable as evidence in intersection car accidents because it is engineered to document various traffic violations, including:

Consequently, in most intersection car accidents, there exists photographic evidence from traffic light cameras due to the triggers as mentioned above.

Obtaining Video Footage with Legal Help

A Minnesota car accident attorney can assist you in obtaining footage from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) cameras or other local jurisdictions through several steps:

Initial Consultation and Representation

Your car accident lawyer in St. Cloud will begin by discussing the details of your case with you during an initial consultation. They will gather information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and any relevant factors contributing to the incident.  They will walk you through the case process, contingency fee, and your potential claims.  If you believe the lawyer will be a good fit for your case, you will enter into a representation agreement whereby the personal injury lawyer will represent you for purposes of recovering your damages from an accident.  Generally, recoverable damages include past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and pain, suffering, and emotional distress.  Your lawyer will then begin their investigation into your case, including determining if any traffic light cameras exist, and whether they will be necessary for your case.

Legal Expertise

A car accident attorney will have the legal knowledge and experience to navigate the challenges of obtaining footage from MnDOT or other local jurisdiction cameras. They will understand the relevant laws and regulations governing access to such footage and can guide you through the legal process.  If such footage is available, they will work with the proper authorities to preserve such footage to help support your case.

Requesting Footage

Your attorney will formally request the footage from MnDOT or other local jurisdictions on your behalf. This request will likely involve submitting a written request to the appropriate department or agency within MnDOT, providing specific details about the accident, and explaining why the footage is needed for your case.  Your Minnesota car accident lawyer will work with the necessary officials to ensure that you receive the footage in a timely manner and in a usable format for your case.

Review and Analysis

Once the footage is obtained, your Minnesota car accident attorney will carefully review and analyze it to determine its relevance to your case. They will look for evidence supporting your claims regarding the cause of the accident and the negligence of the other party/parties involved.

Building Your Case

Armed with the footage from the relevant traffic cameras, your attorney will use this evidence to strengthen your case. They may use the footage during settlement negotiations with the insurance company or present it as evidence in court if your case goes to trial.

Your attorney will provide ongoing legal representation and guidance throughout the process. They will advocate on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Call Our Minnesota Car Accident Attorney Today

At Nelson Personal Injury, we understand how difficult it can be to prove fault after a car accident. That is why they are committed to using all available resources, including traffic and red-light camera footage, to build strong cases for our clients. With over 40 years of combined experience in personal injury law, we have a proven track record of seeking justice and fair compensation for those affected by car accidents. Schedule a consultation with our Minnesota car accident attorney to get help with your case.

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