The view of a beautiful decline down a luscious part of the country is now regularly filmed via helmet mounted cameras on cyclists across the UK. The number of people using them has grown rapidly since their inception at the turn of the century. However, these cameras are also being used to record video evidence against negligent and poor drivers during everyday commutes; which begs the question, are helmet mounted cameras good for evidence in serious injury cases?
Using helmet mounted cameras
The technology around helmet mounted cameras began to become popular when leading sports camera company GoPro started their journey back in 2002 with the idea of capturing surfers performing directly from the athlete themselves. This quickly developed into cameras designed to capture a multitude of sports including skiing, cycling and many other extreme activities; it has even stretched into the realms of filming non sport related videos, capturing some truly amazing moments, such as the worlds highest freefall, to a fire-fighter saving a kitten from a burned down building.
As time passes, like with all areas of technology, the ability for higher resolution videos, smaller cameras, longer battery life and larger storage capacity enables us to capture any aspect of daily life in high detail. This has been the case for many cyclists in the UK and the rest of the world, recording great journeys and daily commutes alike. However, the use of these cameras is currently just as much for personal protection reasons as capturing stunning scenery.
Search on YouTube for anything related to bad driving and cyclists and you will find hundreds of incidents involving road users displaying road rage and poor driving caught using mounted cameras. Previously, serious injuries from road traffic accidents involving cyclists would involve testimonials from those present, including witnesses. While this is reliable if more than one testimonial matches up to create the full story, the advent of cyclists using helmet mounted cameras has enabled an extra dimension of evidence to support their claims. Video evidence can often be very useful in determining who was at fault in a serious injury case. There are however, limitations with using video as evidence in a claim you are making.
Video courtesy of the Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Although video evidence often depicts what happened during an incident without prejudice and from an unbiased view, having footage does not automatically mean police or a court will accept recordings. Common considerations for using footage when reporting a serious injury claim from cycling include:
• Showing entirety of the incident: Usually 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after the incident so that a clear understanding of how the incident began and the aftermath can be drawn.
• If possible, show the date and time: Some cameras automatically have a timestamp, clarifying the incident as the one in question. This helps legitimise the video as being not only of the incident, but driver (if the face is shown) and victim.
• Footage must be raw and unedited: As video editing is very accessible now, it is important to submit any footage in its raw form, clearly displaying no signs of doctoring.
• Handing footage to authorities quickly: Similarly to the above point, footage should be handed in to the relevant authorities (often the police) quickly (within 48 hours of the incident) to ensure there is no time to doctor the video and so action can be taken asap.
• Video quality must be acceptable: There are hundreds of camera brands for helmets and most will be of suitable quality for recording. It is important to have a high enough resolution that there can be no doubt about the vehicle involved in the incident, its registration and if possible the driver (should we see their face).
• Be aware of your own behaviour: While we may be able to see the original incident wasn’t your fault, if you were to retaliate in an unacceptable manner (physically or verbally) or are seen to be antagonising and making the situation worse, this could go against you when considering the evidence.
Can we use it?
Having video evidence; while not 100% certain to be used within a claim; is, in short, a useful tool to ensure any denial on liability can be challenged when claiming from a cycling accident. If you are going to be cycling a lot and are considering having a camera mounted on your helmet or bike, as an insurance option it can easily help legitimise any claim. Video evidence, if accepted, can go a long way to speeding up the claim process.
Our advice when using mounted cameras is to stay courteous, even after any incident, as your own behaviour is on show. Also, make sure you act quickly if you are on the receiving end of negligent driving while riding. When on a bike you are much more vulnerable to serious injury from negligent driving than in a car, as there is less protection available. You can’t always guarantee those around you will be vigilant, so you must be, to lower the amount of risk.
What to do if you have been injured?
The first step after an injury is to get in touch with us and let us know all the details of your claim. From there we can confidently let you know if you have a solid claim and what to do to proceed. At Sincere Law our team has 20+ years of serious injury knowledge at each of our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis, giving you peace of mind to start your claim, knowing you won’t be charged if unsuccessful. We understand serious injuries like no other and we strive to look after you immediately following injury for as long as it takes for your to recover. We will also ensure that you receive the best aftercare following your return home.
If you or a loved one have been unfortunate and suffered a serious injury while cycling, video evidence or not, please call us for free impartial advice on 0800 092 2896 or fill on our contact form for one of our friendly advisers to get in touch with you.