lawyer friend says "best not to say you installed a dash cam to capture crashes"

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SandraWIhan

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I have a lawyer friend and I was chatting with him about the dash cam in my car. A little background: he is one of the best personal injury lawyers in the state, so he knows his stuff about these things. I'm just repeating what he said in a casual conversation and none of this should be taken as legal advice.

He said: "best not to say you installed a dash cam to capture crashes" In some jurisdictions, the judges, district attorneys, and of course, insurance companies, will imply that you installed the dash cam in your personal vehicle hoping/waiting for a big crash and fat payday. Unless you are active police, fire, public safety, or drive a commercial company vehicle. This is America, not Russia or Asia and dash cams are not yet a part of car culture.

His advice? (against, this is NOT legal advice) "I installed the dash cam in my car because I wanted to capture that giant meteor like the one in Russia...." or something like that. (substitute meteor with bigfoot hitchhiking, 500-pound alligator crossing the interstate, escaped zoo/circus tigers, etc, etc, etc)

I actually installed the dash cam because I'm hoping to capture that unicorn....
 

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I have a lawyer friend and I was chatting with him about the dash cam in my car. A little background: he is one of the best personal injury lawyers in the state, so he knows his stuff about these things. I'm just repeating what he said in a casual conversation and none of this should be taken as legal advice.

He said: "best not to say you installed a dash cam to capture crashes" In some jurisdictions, the judges, district attorneys, and of course, insurance companies, will imply that you installed the dash cam in your personal vehicle hoping/waiting for a big crash and fat payday. Unless you are active police, fire, public safety, or drive a commercial company vehicle. This is America, not Russia or Asia and dash cams are not yet a part of car culture.

His advice? (against, this is NOT legal advice) "I installed the dash cam in my car because I wanted to capture that giant meteor like the one in Russia...." or something like that. (substitute meteor with bigfoot hitchhiking, 500-pound alligator crossing the interstate, escaped zoo/circus tigers, etc, etc, etc)

I actually installed the dash cam because I'm hoping to capture that unicorn....

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to have a dashcam recording what is happening around you, it's amazing to me that your lawyer friend would say that! :)
 

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He didn't say the dash cam was a bad idea. Just the better legal answer as to WHY you installed it.
 

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He didn't say the dash cam was a bad idea. Just the better legal answer as to WHY you installed it.

well I don't think anyone would say they installed it to 'capture crashes' as he puts it anyway, that would imply what he says, perhaps if he wasn't thinking so much like a lawyer and asked you why you put one instead

to protect your own self interests would be a much better assessment of why most people would have one
 
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SandraWIhan

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well I don't think anyone would say they installed it to 'capture crashes' as he puts it anyway, that would imply what he says, perhaps if he wasn't thinking so much like a lawyer and asked you why you put one instead

to protect your own self interests would be a much better assessment of why most people would have one


There was a case where a thief filed an injury lawsuit against a homeowner... the thief tripped and broke his ankle on a loose carpet in the hallway. Guess what? The homeowner's insurance settled with the thief!!! The thief was convicted for breaking and entering....

Don't you just love American justice? :(
 

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where is the democracy?
 

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Technically it shouldn't matter WHY you installed the dashcam unless you're planning on following and harassing someone with it. If it does then there's something wrong with the legal system there. As everyone else pointed out. What I would suggest you say is "just in case", and never clarify with more than " I don't know". ;)
 

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You may try excuse on "why dash camera is mounted in your car?", - " I want to record how my car wipers works when driving a car ".
I know its a silly answer, but questions is also silly to be honest. So for each silly question you can replay with most silliest answer that will not be related to video recording of anything else than only what related to your car. Your car is your possession and you have rights to video record your own car.
 

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The lawyer advice is good in any country.

enjoy,
mtz
 

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In some jurisdictions, the judges, district attorneys, and of course, insurance companies, will imply that you installed the dash cam in your personal vehicle hoping/waiting for a big crash and fat payday.

I've been thinking about this "legal advice" and concluded it is not valid. If you captured someone in another vehicle doing something outrageous or negligent that caused an accident it would be irrelevant in the eyes of the law why you chose to have a camera in your vehicle as long as you yourself didn't do anything wrong. Having a "CCTV" camera in your vehicle is no different than having a surveillance system at your home or business. You have a surveillance system to document "possible" criminal or negligent activity, not because you are hoping for it.
 
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He didn't say the dash cam was a bad idea. Just the better legal answer as to WHY you installed it.
well, the better answer is that you dont have to answer that question, and a good cop should know that she shouldnt ask ( but good cops sure are more rare than the unicorn spotting you installed your camera to record these days).
Though I understand in practice you may not want to sound like a jerk if a cop asks, so the point remains valid. Just make up a stupid reason.
 

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I've been thinking about this "legal advice" and concluded it is not valid. If you captured someone in another vehicle doing something outrageous or negligent that caused an accident it would be irrelevant in the eyes of the law why you chose to have a camera in your vehicle as long as you yourself didn't do anything wrong. Having a "CCTV" camera in your vehicle is no different than having a surveillance system at your home or business. You have a surveillance system to document "possible" criminal or negligent activity, not because you are hoping for it.

I agree. Or rather, not that it's not valid, just that it's one person's opinion, and applicable onlt to the USA. He may be a good lawyer but that does not mean he is right about everything.

As you point out, the police have dashcams - why can't we?

I have a lawyer friend and I was chatting with him about the dash cam in my car. A little background: he is one of the best personal injury lawyers in the state, so he knows his stuff about these things. I'm just repeating what he said in a casual conversation and none of this should be taken as legal advice.

He said: "best not to say you installed a dash cam to capture crashes" In some jurisdictions, the judges, district attorneys, and of course, insurance companies, will imply that you installed the dash cam in your personal vehicle hoping/waiting for a big crash and fat payday. Unless you are active police, fire, public safety, or drive a commercial company vehicle. This is America, not Russia or Asia and dash cams are not yet a part of car culture...

In the UK, we don't receive punitive damages in PI claims so the part in bold seems irrelevant over here. We are only allowed to claim for our losses. Of course, losses may be faked e.g. whiplash but that is another matter. Moreover, a dashcam is a tool for defending you against fake injuries caused by a fake accident (e.g. reversing into you deliberately, a pedestrian hurling himself on your bonnet etc).
 

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In some instances it seems that lawyers..........( sounds like liars if you have a way out accent)...... its not what is the truth that matters..... its winning......:( Ipol
 

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In some instances it seems that lawyers..........( sounds like liars if you have a way out accent)...... its not what is the truth that matters..... its winning......:( Ipol

Some? You are very polite.
 

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@ squid its less a matter of being polite more a question of caution.......on my part Ipol :oops:
 

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on the FBI site look at the story (attorney turned racketeer a stunning betrayal of the law) it makes interesting reading ......Ipol:rolleyes:
 
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