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Can lawyer obtain video footage from street cameras run by DOT?

Woodland Hills, CA |

My accident was at an intersection where there is a street camera (not red light camera) right above. The video is the only thing can show that I was not at fault.

The accident happened in Woodland Hills, California.

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Attorney answers 12

Best Answer

The California Department of Transportation website states " . . . that Caltrans does not save traffic video and is unable to provide archived footage." Notwithstanding the same, a subpoena could potentially be issued in a case requesting the production of the video footage. If the video footage does not exist, the custodian of record should respond that they are unable to provide the footage.


If the tape is available. A lawyer can obtain a copy of the footage.


If you have consulted with a lawyer ask him to look into this for you.


I am sure that a lawyer can obtain it if it hasn't been destroyed.

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The video can be obtained either through request or subpoena, depending on their policy. In any event, send out a notice to preserve evidence via certified mail, return receipt requested, giving the specific location of the camera and date and time of the accident. These cameras often overwrite themselves after a short period of time so you need to act quickly to preserve that footage. Follow up with them a week or so after you send the letter to make sure they are preserving the evidence. Then you can worry about how to get a copy of the tape.


Generally these videos can be obtained by subpeona. Your personal injury attorney probably knows this.

Good Luck

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the State of California and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


If you can get a request to them before the tape is overwritten they may be able to get you a copy. But they would probably respond more quickly to a lawyer's request.


A lawyer can get video footage via subpoena. Avvo has a great "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney (10) with a low contingency fee, less than thirty you don't get hurt twice. Good luck.


An attorney would have to subpoena the film. But the case would have to be in litigation to do this. Also it is very important to write a letter to DOT asap asking them to save this tape, they are only kept for a certain time. Also you need to find out who has the film. It could be the city, county or state.

You didn't mention if you are injured. If your not and you are just trying defend yourself you need to talk to you insurance company. I personally doubt they will even bother unless there are major injuries.


Yes, it can be obtained, assuming it's available.


Only if it is available. Many of the cameras are not actually on and recording at all times.


If it still exists, maybe. Could be a subpoena or request.

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