As the new year begins, Illinois is increasing its use of red light and speed cameras. Cameras are now used in many state highway work zones, and the city of Chicago now has over 300 active traffic safety cameras. Most people consider the possibility that they might receive a speeding or red light ticket based off of one of these cameras; but did you know that video from state traffic cameras can also be relevant in car accident injury cases? Many people do not consider this possibility. The rise of traffic cameras has greatly increased the chances that your accident was caught on video. That footage could be key evidence in your car accident legal claim. It is your legal right in Illinois to have access to accident footage from city and state traffic cameras. Remember, if you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact experienced Illinois car accident attorney as soon as possible.
You Have a Legal Right to Traffic Camera Video
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives citizens the right to request access to government information. Illinois, and all other states, also have some form of public records law, which helps citizens access state and local government information. You have a legal right to state and city traffic camera footage. Ideally, it should be easy to get necessary information from the government. After all, you have a well established legal right to have access to that information. Unfortunately, too often getting your hands on car accident footage, from a red light or speed camera, proves to be difficult. Challenges include:
- Lack of knowledge about the existence of the camera: You may not know that a red light or speed camera was at the accident scene. Responding police officers often will not realize this information, or how important it is, either.
- Figuring out who operates the camera: Most Illinois traffic cameras are operated by third parties. This often makes the process of obtaining the footage complicated.
- Navigating the information request laws: This can require working through a complex bureaucracy. Once you figure out that a camera exists and may have caught the accident, and you figure out the name of the party operates that camera, it can still be a challenge to actually get that organization to send you the relevant footage.
It is important to act quickly. You will want to get a car accident attorney on your side as soon as possible, because all forms of evidence become increasingly difficult to track down as time passes. An experienced car accident attorney can immediately review your case, and determine if it is a possibility that helpful video evidence exists. If that video exists, your attorney will know how to get it in your hands.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Fundamentally, evidence is the key to a successful outcome in car accident injury cases. Official video is an extremely compelling form of evidence and could be the difference maker in you case. Video evidence can help prove fault and help establish your damages. An experienced car accident attorney is vital when it comes to gathering and assembling necessary evidence. You deserve full and fair compensation for your car accident injuries. If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney today.