Dashcams can help, but also hurt, in an insurance dispute

Dashcam videos can help establish who was at fault in a crash when negotiating a claim with ICBC.

Making a claim with ICBC after an accident can sometimes feel like being subjected to an investigation. That's because the insurer is vigilant about cracking down on alleged fraud and avoiding paying out on what it considers to be frivolous claims. That extreme vigilance, however, means that sometimes even legitimate claims get turned down or settled for less than what they may be worth. Luckily, consumer dashboard cameras ("dashcams") may be giving drivers a little help with their ICBC claims by helping them establish more definitively the facts of their cases.

Dashcams helping in insurance disputes

The biggest advantage dashcams pose for drivers is that they act as a neutral third-party witness to a crash. Dashcams can help drivers establish who was at fault for an accident, for example, thus helping dispel any doubt about the issue in the eyes of ICBC. Some dashcams also have GPS capabilities and even record the speed a vehicle is travelling at, which can further help establish who was actually at fault in an accident. The devices have also proven useful to police by helping them identify and apprehend suspects in hit-and-run cases.

As CBC News reports, in at least one instance a driver's dashcam may have saved him from falling victim to insurance fraud. In that case the dashcam recorded the man's vehicle being struck, seemingly deliberately, by another vehicle. While it was impossible to say for sure in that case whether the crash was an attempt at insurance fraud, industry experts say dashcams are proving useful at protecting safe drivers against unscrupulous or dangerous motorists.

Dashcam evidence works both ways

Of course, it is worth remembering that video and other data taken from a dashcam can just as easily be used against the driver who owns the dashcam. The video may, for example, show that the driver was indeed at fault for the accident, which could hurt his or her ICBC claim. Also, as the Globe and Mail points out, for dashcam evidence to be admissible in court the owner of the dashcam cannot tamper or manipulate the evidence in any way. Editing the video, for example, could lead to the evidence getting thrown out by a judge.

Getting help with ICBC claims

For those who have been involved in an accident, an ICBC claim can be a lifeline for covering important expenses, including vehicle repair, treatment, lost income, and medical costs. However, negotiating with ICBC is not always easy. Fortunately, a personal injury lawyer can help accident victims, including by negotiating aggressively on their behalf to help them get the largest settlement possible from ICBC .