Archive for April, 2022

Can You Legally Use Your Own Dash Cam in South Carolina?

Many motor vehicle drivers, including semi-trucks, motorcycles, and cars, have dash cams to record events that occur while they are on the road. These mounted video cameras can provide valuable information if a car accident occurs. However, you may wonder if they are legal to use in South Carolina? The answer is yes. Read below to learn more.

South Carolina Laws About Video Recording

According to South Carolina laws, only one party must consent to a video recording. In fact, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record people without the consent of at least one person who is involved. However, as long as the owner or driver of the vehicle where the dash cam is mounted knows about and consents to its presence, then the recording is legal.

There are exceptions to these video recording laws, such as in places where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. That would include a restroom or bedroom. However, since a dash cam records incidents that occur in public, they are not prohibited.

Benefits of Using a Dash Cam

A dash cam can contribute to the investigation process after a car accident. It provides a detailed account of exactly what happened. It records all factors and parties that may have been involved.

Some of the beneficial information a dash cam can collect include:

Dash cams are primarily used to prove someone acted negligently and should be held liable for the damages they caused.

Potentially Negative Aspects of Having a Dash Cam

There is no guarantee that you will always been the non-liable party in a crash. If you do make a mistake, your dash cam is basically evidence of your negligence. Its footage can and will be requested by the other party and used against you.

In fact, dash cam footage can even be used to prove you shared some negligence in the crash. If the other party clearly caused the accident, dash cam footage may show that you were going slightly over the speed limit or failed to take last minute action to avoid the crash. Your minor mistakes will be used against you. This compares to a crash where dash cam footage was not available and the liable party had no evidence of your partial fault.

South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that as long as you were less than 51% responsible for an accident, you are still eligible for compensation from the other party. However, your financial recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you share. For example, if you were 10% at fault for the car accident and your damages totaled $100,000, then you would only be able to recover $90,000. Your dash cam may be used to positively point out your percentage of fault, where the other party may not have any such evidence otherwise.

Insurance Company Use of Dash Cams

Some insurance companies offer a discount to customers who use dash cams in their vehicles. The insurance company can use the dash cam footage to reduce investigation efforts in the event of an accident.

Insurance companies also know that many people who have dash cams, especially younger teen drivers, are more careful when they know they are being recorded and monitored. The insurance company may encourage you to utilize a dash cam to promote safe driving practices.

However, before you submit any dash cam footage to an insurance company, you should consult with a car accident lawyer. The insurance company may attempt to use the information to avoid paying for your claim. Your attorney can review the data on the dash cam and help you understand your rights.

Ryan Montgomery Law Has Answers for You

Ryan Montgomery Law has helped countless clients after car accidents in and around Greenville, South Carolina.

If you are considering a dash cam or were involved in a crash and dash cam footage is available, Ryan Montgomery Law can evaluate your specific situation and answer your questions. Call us today at (864) 207-4927 for help.

Understanding Car Seat Laws and Booster Seat Laws in South Carolina

Babies and children who are a certain age or size are required to be in safety seats when riding in cars. South Carolina laws provide detailed information about when a child should be in a car seat or booster seat. Read below to learn more.

If you were involved in a car accident and have questions about your rights, contact Ryan Montgomery Law right away. One thing we can do is help you get your car seat or booster seat replaced. Call us today at (864) 207-4927.

South Carolina Laws About Child Safety Seats

The South Carolina Code Section 56-5-6410 details requirements for child passenger restraint systems in passenger cars. It indicates that every driver of a motor vehicle, which includes cars, trucks, vans, and recreational vehicles, that is operated on highways and streets must properly secure children within the vehicle. Failure to do so can result in a $150 fine for a first offense.

There are exceptions to this law, which can be found at Section 56-5-6420. For example, if a vehicle lacks a rear passenger seat or all rear seats are occupied by other children under the specified age, then a child may ride in the front seat. However, they are still required to be in an appropriate restraint system or belt-positioner.

Another exception to the specifications of child restraint seats is for children who have special medical needs. A child may obtain written documentation from a physician, advanced nurse practitioner, or physician assistant indicating that a standard child restraint seat does not meet their needs. In such a case, they must have a specially developed child restraint system that still meets standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

When Does a Child Have to Be in a Rear-Facing Car Seat?

According to South Carolina laws, all infants under the age of 2 must be in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the height and weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. If a child under the age of 2 has outgrown their rear-facing car seat, they may be placed in a forward-facing car seat. All children in car seats must be in the back passenger part of the vehicle.

When Can I Put My Child in a Forward-Facing Car Seat?

A child who is at least 2 years old may be secured in a forward-facing car seat in the rear seat of a vehicle. A toddler should remain in a forward-facing seat until they exceed the height and weight requirements of their forward-facing car seat.

As previously mentioned, if a child under the age of 2 exceeds the height and weight requirements of their rear-facing car seat, they may be transferred to a forward-facing car seat in the rear part of the vehicle.

Booster Seat Laws in South Carolina

Children who are at least 4 years old and have outgrown their forward-facing car seats may use a booster seat in the rear part of a vehicle. When in a booster seat, both lap and shoulder belts must be used.

When Can My Child Use a Seat Belt?

When a child meets all of the height and weight fit requirements for adult safety belts, they no longer have to use a car seat or booster seat. South Carolina law specifies that a child must be at least 8 years old and 57 inches tall in order to be restrained with a safety belt without a booster seat. However, that only applies if the safety belt fits them properly. A seat belt fits properly if:

Can My Child Ride in the Front Seat of My Car?

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety recommends that all children under the age of 13 ride in the back seat of all vehicles. They are better protected from all types of crashes in the back seat. Additionally, air bags that are in the front dashboard can seriously injure small children.

South Carolina law mandates that children who are still in car seats and booster seats ride in the back passenger area of a car. However, if all back seats are taken by other children under the age of 8 or there is no back seat (common in older model trucks), then a child may be properly restrained in the front seat.

What Should I Do If My Child is Involved in a Car Accident?

If your child is involved in a car accident, the car seat will hopefully provide protection and your child will be uninjured. However, you should always ensure your child gets emergency medication treatment after a crash. They could have injuries that are not visible or immediately identifiable.

Additionally, you should always replace any car seat or booster seat that is involved in a car crash. Even if it doesn’t appear to be damaged, the plastic could have minor cracks or weak areas. Insurance companies will typically pay for the replacement of car seats that were involved in car accidents.

Ryan Montgomery Law Is Here to Help

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, you should immediately reach out to a lawyer who can walk you through a personal injury claim. You will likely have many expenses that need to be covered, from medical bills to a replacement car seat. Call Ryan Montgomery Law today at (864) 207-4927.