Traffic cameras are a normal part of our highway system today, and Westchester, NY has numerous cameras scattered about its roads. If you are injured in an accident, traffic camera footage might be paramount to your claims for compensation.
The county is in charge of traffic cameras in and around Westchester, although local and state authorities may have access to them, too. Obtaining the footage from these cameras might be tricky. Your attorney can contact the proper authorities to determine who is in charge of the footage from the cameras around your accident. From there, we can submit a formal request for traffic camera footage. This footage is important because it might depict the accident from start to finish on clear video. Even if fault or negligence is not obvious in the footage, it might still highlight important details. Speak to your attorney about traffic cameras right away, as footage might be deleted if we do not get to it fast enough.
After a crash, call our Westchester, NY car accident lawyers at The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950 and set up a time for a confidential case review free of charge.
Who is in Charge of Traffic Cameras in Westchester, NY
In Westchester, NY the county is generally in charge of traffic cameras on the roads and highways. Many of these cameras were installed as part of an initiative from the Westchester County Department of Public Works. As such, the county government oversees the cameras, including things like maintenance and what happens to traffic camera footage.
While the county is largely responsible for many traffic cameras on the road, they are not the only government agency that might be implicated in a request for footage. Traffic cameras are not directly intended to help plaintiffs in personal injury claims. Instead, their primary purpose is to aid government officials in providing emergency services in case of accidents. As such, local and state law enforcement agencies might be in charge of certain cameras or maintaining footage.
The first step toward determining who is in charge of the traffic camera footage we need is pinpointing where traffic cameras are in proximity to your accident. There might be one or several cameras that caught the accident. Once we know which cameras are involved, our New Rochelle, NY car accident lawyers can figure out who to contact about getting footage.
How to Obtain Copies of Traffic Camera Footage in Westchester, NY After an Accident
To obtain copies of traffic camera footage from the scene of your accident, we should contact county officials to determine where the footage is maintained. While the Department of Public Works might oversee many of the cameras, local and state police departments might also be in charge as they use the cameras in emergency situations.
The best approach might be to inquire with multiple agencies and authorities. We can contact the police department that handled your accident and county officials. It is possible one or both have access to the footage we need.
Once we know who is in charge of the footage we need, our next step is to determine the proper procedures for getting copies of this footage. Such procedures usually involve a formal request submitted in writing. We might also need to submit the request through specific channels or portals. There might be an online portal, or we might need to use regular mail.
We should also be prepared for the possibility that we are told no. If the authorities do not want to hand over copies of the footage, we might need to find another way to get it. For example, we might file a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the footage if we have to.
Why Traffic Camera Footage Might Be Important in Your Westchester, NY Accident Case
Traffic cameras might capture details from your accident on video. Depending on where the camera was situated, it might have recorded the entire accident from the moment you were hit onward. As such, this kind of footage might contain important details we need to prove your claims against the other driver. Obtaining this footage should be a top priority.
In some cases, fault can be quickly determined just by watching traffic camera videos. For example, perhaps the video shows you stopped at a red light and the other driver speeding behind you and slamming into you without stopping. It is pretty clear from the footage that the other driver is entirely responsible for the accident.
In other cases, even if the videos cannot definitively prove fault, they might at least shed light on disputed facts, like speed. For example, we might argue that the defendant was negligently speeding, and their speed is a major factor in causing the crash. The defendant might argue they were not speeding at all. The traffic camera footage might show how fast the defendant was going when they hit you.
When to Get Copies of Traffic Camera Videos for Your Accident Case in Westchester, NY
It is best to try and get footage from traffic cameras as soon as possible. Often, footage is deleted if it is not needed or nobody claims it. The traffic cameras might be set to automatically delete recorded footage after so many days if nobody saves it. As such, we must act quickly and without delay.
It is also best to act quickly because we do not know how long it might take to obtain copies of the footage. The authorities in charge of traffic cameras might need time to process our request, obtain the footage, and send it to us. We must account for this time by submitting requests as soon as possible. The time between our request and actually getting copies of the footage might be days, weeks, or longer.
Contact Our Westchester, NY Car Accident Attorneys for Help Obtaining Traffic Camera Videos
Call our Mount Vernon, NY car accident attorneys at The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950 and make an appointment for a confidential case assessment, free of charge.