How Do I Get Traffic Camera Footage for a Car Accident in New York?

After a car accident, you need all the evidence you can get to prove who was at fault.  In many crash cases, the only evidence you will have consists of photos of the vehicle damage and each driver’s statement about what happened.  When you can get video evidence – especially video of the crash itself – your case is often a lot stronger.  When an intersection has a traffic camera, you might try to get a hold of that footage to help with your accident case, but that might not be possible.

Getting traffic camera footage for a crash in New York might not be possible because most traffic cameras are not set up to record footage.  Occasionally, some areas will have cameras set up for law enforcement that you might be able to obtain footage from.  However, other footage from other camera systems might be widely available to help with your case.

For help with a car accident case in New York, call The Martello Law Firm’s Westchester car accident attorneys today for a free case review.  Our number is (914) 685-6950.

Can You Get Traffic Camera Footage from the NYC DOT?

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has traffic surveillance cameras set up all over the city.  On the NYC DOT’s traffic camera website, you can actually locate cameras and watch live footage from these traffic cameras.  The primary goal of these cameras, however, is to monitor traffic conditions.  These cameras provide still photos every few seconds, but no actual video and no saved footage.

That means that if you are looking to the DOT to get video of your crash, you are likely out of luck.  There may be some saved photos somewhere on the internet from these traffic cameras, but the DOT does not host or collect these images.  Additionally, their live feed does not even consist of fluid video; it is a still image updated every few seconds to show current traffic conditions only.

Ultimately, it is unlikely that the NYC DOT’s footage will be available to you or your Yonkers car accident attorneys for use in a car accident claim.

Can You Get Traffic Camera Footage from the New York Thruway Authority?

Like the NYC DOT, the New York Thruway Authority has traffic monitoring cameras set up, but these cameras are throughout the state on major thruways.  On their website, you can actually view live camera footage (delayed by 20 seconds).  However, these videos are also not recorded or saved but merely delivered as a live stream.  This means your White Plains car accident lawyer is likely unable to obtain them and will not be able to use them as evidence in your car accident case.

Can You Get Traffic Camera Footage from Law Enforcement in New York?

In some towns and cities, there may actually be footage that you can obtain from traffic cameras.  It’s a long shot in some areas, but you can always try contacting local law enforcement or the DMV and asking if there is surveillance footage for the area where your accident happened.  In cases involving a hit and run or other serious crime, police might be more cooperative in helping you get the footage.  You should also work with a New York car accident lawyer, who can submit these requests on your behalf.

Getting Other Camera Footage of a Car Accident in New York

Even if you cannot get footage from a traffic camera or police camera, there are cameras all over the place today.  Many businesses, ATMs, and even homes have security cameras set up around the property that might have been directed at the street.  Your lawyer can ask around at nearby homes and businesses to look for footage of the crash, and local police might have a database of nearby security cameras they can reference.

Many drivers and motorcyclists also use dash cams or helmet cams to protect themselves in case of an accident.  If a witness has footage of the crash, they may be willing to provide it or may have already come forward to police to say that they have video of the accident.  Additionally, if there was a police officer or squad car nearby when the accident occurred, it’s possible their dash cam or body cam might have captured the accident on video, but these cameras are not always active.

Additionally, most people have access to a camera on their cell phone at any given moment.  Many passers-by and witnesses have quick instincts to take video of crashes and accidents when they see them, so other witnesses might have recorded videos of the crash or come forward to the police with evidence.  Your New Rochelle car accident attorneys can also work to track down this kind of footage so we can use it as evidence in your case.

Getting Video of a Car Crash Before it Gets Deleted

In any case where you are seeking security camera footage, you should always act quickly.  Many security camera systems have a limited video storage capacity and overwrite video within 24 to 48 hours of the video being taken.  Unless the owner of the system actually saves the footage or marks it not to be deleted, it might be gone very quickly.  So, it is important to send letters and get in contact with the owner of the footage quickly to have it preserved for trial.  Your Mount Vernon car accident lawyer can send the appropriate requests, but it is important to start working with a lawyer quickly after your crash to give them time to do so.

Call Our New York Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident, call The Martello Law Firm today for a free case evaluation with our Westchester personal injury attorneys.  Our phone number is (914) 685-6950.

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