If you are injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be awarded compensation for your suffering. Unfortunately, defendant’s don’t often put their hands up and admit liability for your accident straight away. Instead, they (or their insurers) will want to see evidence that proves why you should be compensated. One of the easiest ways to prove how an accident occurred is to provide camera recordings of the events leading up to the incident. In this guide, we’ll look at how to get CCTV footage of a car accident.
If you do start a claim following a car accident, your own statement or those provided by witnesses could be argued over by the defendant. However, security camera or dashcam footage can be very useful in proving what happened in road traffic accidents because, as the saying goes, the camera never lies. As such, we’ll look at how you go about securing this vital form of evidence.
If you need any advice or have any questions about car accident claims as you read this guide, please call us or use live chat to discuss your queries with a specialist.
Where are CCTV cameras used?
Security cameras are used in various places where you might be involved in a car crash. They include:
- Public car parks.
- Supermarket car parks.
- On major roads.
- In other vehicles such as on a bus.
- On high streets and other busy areas.
- Outside business premises.
- In multi-storey car parks.
- In private properties.
In some cases, you may just be able to approach the owner and ask them to send you a copy of any footage they’ve recorded that includes your accident. This might be true if your accident was captured by residential CCTV cameras or by another road user’s dashcam. However, for CCTV cameras operated by local authorities, businesses or central government, the process might be more long-winded. We’ll therefore look at how to get CCTV footage in these cases as we progress.
Act quickly to secure CCTV footage for a car accident claim
It is important to point out that you must act quickly to secure CCTV footage of your car accident. That’s because some organisations will have a policy to erase data regularly.
While some might manually delete recordings once a month, others may have systems in place to automatically wipe their hard drives weekly.
Requesting CCTV footage of a car accident
Legally, you are entitled to request a copy of CCTV recordings of yourself. To do so, you’ll need to identify the owner of the security camera first. In some cases, this will be obvious. For example, if you’re involved in a car crash in a supermarket car park, any cameras will usually be owned and operated by the supermarket’s owners.
If you’re not sure who owns a security camera, you might find a sign or notice attached to it with contact details.
You should send an email or write to the camera’s owner and ask them to provide footage of your accident. To help them identify the correct recordings, you should:
- Tell them the exact time and date that your accident occurred.
- Provide them with your car’s registration number, make, model and colour.
- Supply proof of identity.
- Provide a description of yourself.
How data protection laws apply to CCTV requests
The Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR give you the right to request any personal information they hold about you. This includes any camera recordings. You can make your request in writing or verbally.
The process of requesting data is called a Subject Access Request (SAR). When making a SAR, the organisation you request the data from can not usually charge you for responding. They will usually have to provide a response to your request within 30-days.
However, as explained earlier, not all CCTV footage is retained that long. As such, if you do make a SAR, you should mark it as urgent. It may be worth calling the organisation to explain the rush as well.
Some of the organisations who you could make a SAR for CCTV footage of a car accident include:
- The local authority.
- Highways England.
- The police.
You can find out more about your right to access your personal data by visiting this article by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
When can access to security camera footage be refused?
There are a few reasons why your request for CCTV camera footage could be refused. They include:
- If other people can be identified in the footage.
- Where it’s not possible to obscure the faces of others.
- If the recording could jeopardise an ongoing criminal investigation.
If you are struggling to obtain CCTV footage of a car accident, you may wish to ask a solicitor to make the request for you.
Using CCTV footage and other evidence for a car accident claim
When you make a car accident claim, you’ll need evidence to help show how the accident occurred, who was to blame and how you were injured. CCTV footage will often make liability for the accident clear from the start so you should always try to secure a copy.
Other evidence that you could supply to support your claim includes:
- Details of any witnesses.
- Photographs of the accident scene.
- Medical records if you were treated by a doctor for your injuries.
- Evidence of any costs you incurred because of your injuries.
Claiming compensation for a car accident
If you have been involved in a car accident and you’d like to claim compensation, we could help. If you call our team they’ll review your claim for free and could connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors.
If they accept your case, they’ll use any CCTV footage and other evidence to try and secure compensation for you. Importantly, they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis which will make the claims process much less stressful.
To begin a claim today, call us on 0800 652 1345. We’ll review your chances for free during a no-obligation initial consultation.
Thanks for reading about how to get CCTV footage of a car accident, and please let us know if you have any further questions.