A motorcyclist with a camera mounted on his helmet captured a serious collision involving another motorcycle, a Kia and a flatbed trailer on Southern California’s 405 Freeway. The Kia in a carpool lane reportedly exited without signaling and then struck the motorcycle, which ejected its rider.
As reported by ABC13 News, the video footage showed the ejected motorcyclist slamming into a flatbed trailer after sliding across three lanes of traffic. The rider suffered life-altering injuries, including broken bones and a spine compression fracture. He required two weeks of repeated surgeries at a local hospital.
The recovering motorcyclist filed a legal action against the Kia’s driver and his employer, an automotive company. The Kia operator was test driving a vehicle he had repaired when the accident occurred. A jury awarded the severely injured motorcyclist more than $21.5 million in damages to assist in his recovery and provide financial relief for his medical expenses.
Introducing camera footage as evidence
Generally, motorists have the legal right to record what occurs on the outside of their vehicles without first obtaining permission. Footage captured by a video camera mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle or an individual’s body may serve as evidence in court to prove fault.
Cameras equipped with GPS tracking can also log a vehicle’s coordinates, which could then match the information recorded by a law enforcement official, such as found on an accident report. Videos and photographs recorded by a mobile phone device may also assist in determining compensation for injuries resulting from an accident.
Proving fault through negligence
To recover damages through a lawsuit, an individual must prove that another motorist’s negligence caused an accident. California courts may determine how much liability the at-fault motorist has versus how much the injured party may have contributed to the accident.
A jury may assign a percentage of negligence to each party involved in an accident. In the case of the motorcyclist injured on the 405 Freeway, the driver of the Kia and his employer admitted to a shared responsibility for the accident.