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Can Surveillance Videos Help Pursue Hit and Run Drivers?

Apr 20, 2016 - Car Accidents by

Whether they watch local news reports or even crime dramas on TV, many people believe that the prevalence of surveillance videos has vastly simplified the process of identifying and catching hit and run drivers and other criminals. In truth, these videos can be immensely helpful, but many factors can prevent them from providing absolute identifying evidence.

Injury victims of hit and run accidents might feel a sense of hope when their accidents happen in high-traffic areas where video cameras are more prevalent. Still, any Charlotte hit and run lawyer at our firm continues to advise all individuals to make sure they have appropriate insurance coverage.

Surveillance Videos May or May Not Help Identify Hit and Run Drivers

Even a grainy video seems to have supplied investigators with some information after a January Harnett County hit and run accident that killed two teens and injured a third. As reported by WNCN, the teens were struck from behind while walking on a local highway after leaving a gas station. Unfortunately, the teen who survived the injury sustained a concussion, along with other injuries and he did not remember much about the incident.

A Highway Patrol spokesperson reported that surveillance video from nearby businesses was grainy, but it appears that they did capture at least general identifying characteristics of the vehicle. If such a vehicle is found with front-end vehicle damage, this could potentially be enough information to identify the driver.

Still, there are many reasons why video surveillance may not uncover at-fault drivers, such as:

  • Low-quality cameras can lack detail.
  • Nighttime darkness, or even shadows, can reduce the ability to clearly identify vehicles.
  • Fixed camera angles may show little or no identifying information about a vehicle that travels out of range.

If liable drivers cannot be identified, then the burden of paying the expenses related to injuries fall on the injured party. Motorists who are victimized by hit and run drivers can turn to their own insurance policies, provided they choose to carry Uninsured Motorist coverage. These policies or riders are not fault-based and should not result in premium increases in the event of a qualifying accident. This coverage is even available to pedestrians or bicyclists who are struck by an uninsured motorist.  It is not necessary that the injured victim even be in a vehicle.

Investigation is Essential for any Hit and Run Accident Case

When looking into hit and run accidents, law enforcement investigators typically look for witnesses, while also checking with local businesses to find videos that may have captured any form of evidence to help identify the offenders. If driver identification seems unlikely, attorneys typically advise victims to turn to their insurance policies because a legal case against the driver is not possible. Of course, legal cases can potentially arise when victims experience challenges with their claims.

More advanced technology can make a difference for many hit-and-run cases. While too many injuries are caused by drivers who are never identified, an experienced attorney can initiate additional investigations to pinpoint a culprit — and intervene if a victim’s insurance company attempts to raise premiums in the event of a claim. For a free initial consultation, call us at 844-452-3688 or use our convenient online contact form.