Traffic cameras often capture more violations and accidents than you may think, and this can significantly help your case. However, the footage is only kept briefly before being erased or overwritten. Knowing how long the camera footage is stored can help you as you put together the proof you may need to succeed in a car or pedestrian accident claim.
How long traffic camera footage is stored can vary, depending on where the camera is in Oklahoma. Regardless of specific storage durations, you should move the case along as quickly as possible to obtain needed traffic camera video evidence that can make a difference in your case. An experienced Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyer can help properly request and incorporate footage to strengthen your case.
Traffic Camera Footage Retention Varies by Agency in Oklahoma
Unfortunately, there is not a specific time for traffic camera footage that applies statewide across Oklahoma. The sooner you report your incident, the better the chance the footage will still be available. A lawyer can help you obtain this.
Some Oklahoma jurisdictions or agencies may delete standard traffic camera recordings relatively quickly after a certain time frame. Others may retain footage for longer periods. Each municipality or agency sets its own retention regulations for traffic camera video based on local policies and available storage.
If you need traffic camera footage related to an incident, you should contact the agency in charge of that specific camera system to determine their retention practices. Oklahoma has variability in how long regular traffic camera video is stored before being erased or overwritten. Requesting footage as soon as possible is key.
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How to Access Camera Footage of Your Accident
Figuring out which agency controls the traffic camera that potentially filmed your accident is the first step. City transportation departments often operate red light and speed cameras, while school districts manage cameras in school zones. Contact the agency and submit a written request describing the specific date, time, location, and any other relevant details about the incident and camera location.
The agency will then review its footage archives to determine if the video is still retained based on its policies. You may have to pay reasonable fees associated with searching for and providing the video evidence. If found, examine the footage closely yourself for any useful details before handing it over to your attorney.
Look for discrepancies with other accounts of the accident events. Your lawyer can analyze the video evidence you obtain, isolate key segments relevant to liability and damages, and request clarification or more footage from the agency if needed. Traffic camera evidence properly collected and utilized can profoundly impact your lawyer’s ability to determine fault and support the value of an injury claim.
Other Types of Camera Footage
Private security camera retention varies as businesses and public facilities set their own policies but often delete recordings within weeks or months to clear storage space. Police departments are mandated by states to keep footage longer, especially if related to investigations. Obtain this evidence in a timely manner by formally requesting it from each appropriate entity.
Dashboard and body cameras used by law enforcement must also be retained according to state evidence and records laws. In Oklahoma, for example, this footage can only be destroyed after 90 days unless it is pertinent to an open case. Become familiar with the retention regulations for police video in the area where your footage is.
Surveillance footage gathered through search warrants cannot be disposed of until the associated criminal case is completely closed. Storage times for closed cases depend on jurisdiction-specific policies. Do not assume valuable photographic evidence will be saved indefinitely. Act promptly to secure any applicable videos.
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Camera Footage Is One of the Best Forms of Evidence
Footage from cameras can provide evidence that would be hard to argue against in a case. Unlike eyewitnesses, camera footage does not forget details or get influenced by subjective biases over time. Video creates a permanent visual record.
Traffic cameras, security systems, police body cams, and photo evidence are vital. This gives authorities and insurance companies definitive proof of what happened. Timestamps on camera videos also help prove the timelines you give for the incident.
Camera footage gets deleted over time because of storage limits. Acting quickly to obtain available video evidence can strengthen your case. A lawyer can help identify and legally request camera recordings related to liability, damages, and determining fault.
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How to Incorporate Camera Footage in Your Case
Thoroughly review the camera footage for details that prove the claim you are trying to prove in your case. Look for images that accurately portray your version of the incident, and use those. Incorporating additional supportive video from other sources and angles can also help, if available.
Have a lawyer check the camera footage for evidence of liability, damages, fault allotment, and applicable claims. They can pinpoint which video segments to integrate into legal filings, exhibits, settlement talks, and court presentations. An attorney can also get expert analysis if warranted.
If the authenticity of a traffic camera or other video footage is questioned, it may need to undergo technical examination by forensic video experts. Their analysis can sharpen image clarity, prove the video has not been manipulated, and align it with the sequence of events explained in the case. Professional authentication by experts provides stronger defenses against attempts to dispute the legitimacy of the camera footage.
Let Us Help You Build a Solid Case with Traffic Footage
If you have been involved in an accident or incident that traffic cameras may have captured, you should take action to preserve important video evidence. Traffic video evidence can be the missing piece you need but is erased after limited storage periods. Our compassionate legal team can help obtain the traffic camera and surveillance video through proper requests before deletion.
Do not let valuable camera evidence slip away because of retention limits. Without it, you may end up jeopardizing the outcome of your case. Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you specifically and use your camera footage to build a strong case.
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