You can obtain traffic camera footage in Georgia, but you cannot get it from the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) cameras.
Georgia has an impressive traffic network. It’s intimidating to keep an eye on roadway conditions across the state. However, the Georgia DOT does not record videos from these traffic cams, so the agency cannot honor requests for these materials.
Why Georgia DOT Does Not Record Traffic Cam Videos
The purpose of Georgia’s elaborate traffic camera network is to help government officials monitor traffic flow. Anyone can watch live streams of the traffic cameras’ videos on their smartphones or computers via Georgia 511, a DOT traffic service. This live stream gives viewers a good idea of traffic conditions to, for example, help them decide their route to work in the morning.
However, Georgia DOT does not record this video because doing so would require massive storage space and cost-prohibitive manpower to fulfill requests for footage.
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Other Sources of Traffic Camera Footage Might Prove Useful
Nothing captures crucial details of a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or other collision more accurately than a video of the collision. You cannot obtain footage from traffic cams should not deter you from seeking this type of evidence. Check these other sources:
Home Security Cameras
Ring cameras have emerged as unexpected witnesses over the last few years. If your collision happened as you drove through a residential neighborhood, chances are fairly good that one, several, or all the houses in the vicinity have this type of doorbell camera. Most homeowners are helpful when asking about any footage their camera might have captured. It makes them feel useful.
Personal Dash Cams
Check with witnesses – other drivers on the road at the time of your crash. There could be a driver who has a dash cam inside their vehicle.
Surveillance Videos from Nearby Businesses
Banks, stores, and other businesses near the accident scene could have caught the accident. You just need to get to the business before they delete the footage.
Get Additional Types of Evidence from Georgia DPS’ EPORTS System
In July 2020, the Georgia DPS Open Records Unit announced it would launch a web-based platform you can use to search, request, retrieve, and review several types of records – the Efficient Purchase of Records and Transfer System (EPORTS).
This new system enables you to search by various criteria, including citations, crash reports, and DPS incident reports. It also will serve as a portal for retrieving photos and dashcam videos.
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Videos in Patrol Cars
Georgia DPS also announced the installation of digital video cameras in new patrol vehicles. The DPS will upload videos from police vehicles to a cloud-based video storage. You could receive any requested video footage in the form of a link to the file in the cloud.
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How to Get a Traffic Crash Report in Georgia
As per Georgia’s Open Records Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72 (a)(5), certain individuals can obtain a car accident report. If the Georgia State Patrol investigated your accident, you could reach out to a local State Patrol Post or the Open Records Unit. The Georgia State Patrol offers an Open Records Request form, which you must complete and submit with your request.
You can obtain additional crash reports from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
How to Get Photos Related to Your Accident
Georgia’s Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70)also authorizes the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) to consider your request for photos and other records that might have connected to your collision.
You can submit your request for photos and other crash-related records to the Georgia DPS Open Records Unit. Include the following details with your request:
- Your full name, mailing address, and phone number
- Names of any victims or subjects of the report or investigation
- Which records you are requesting
- Name of the county or city where the accident took place
- Date of the crash or investigation for which you need the photos or records
- Crash report number or incident report number
You might have to pay a fee for the photos or documents you request.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer Will Gather Additional Evidence of Liability
Evidence is the bedrock of a strong personal injury case. When you hire a personal injury lawyer to pursue a settlement or court award for a motor vehicle accident, make sure the law firm will handle your case from start to finish. It all starts with investigating your collision to gather evidence.
How We Gather Evidence for Our Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
At Kaine Law, we build our cases with an evidence-seeking investigation. This includes:
- Visiting the accident scene to take photos and videos and gather residual evidence
- Talking to witnesses to get their accounts of the collision
- Checking for sources of video footage (ATMs, surveillance cameras, etc.)
- Working with an accident reconstruction specialist
- Gathering all your injury-related medical records
- Consulting with experts
Timing Is Important for Many Reasons
Another factor to consider is the issue of timeliness. Consider the following points:
Investigations Take Time
Gathering evidence is a time-consuming process. The sooner you hire a law firm to handle your case, the more time you give their lawyers to study your accident from every angle.
Memories Get Murky Over Time
We must interview witnesses as soon as possible after the collision – before their memories of critical details fade.
Video Evidence Vanishes
Keep in mind, too, that if your lawyer were to discover a nearby surveillance camera that might have helpful footage to support your case, you would need to approach the camera owner (usually a business) before they have deleted that footage. This is another reason to promptly get the ball rolling by hiring a law firm as soon as possible after your accident.
Georgia Limits the Time You Have to File a Lawsuit
Per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you have two years from the date of your crash to file a lawsuit against at-fault parties. The deadline shortens if you are pursuing damages from Georgia or a city or municipality because state law requires that you first file a Notice of Intent.
Your lawyer needs time to gather evidence, build your case, establish liability, and negotiate with the insurance companies. If the insurer fails to agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer needs to have reached this point while there is still time to file a lawsuit.
Kaine Law Will Investigate and Gather the Evidence to Build Your Case
The last thing you need after a motor vehicle accident is to have to worry about collecting evidence to prove your case. The investigation is just one part of our case-building process. We know where and how to find evidence to prove another party’s liability.
Our lawyers work on contingency, so you pay us only when and if we win compensation on your behalf. Call Kaine Law at (404) 214-2001 today for a free case review or to learn about obtaining traffic camera footage in Georgia. Our highly-reviewed firm is ready to support you in your fight for justice.