How Long Do Traffic Cameras Keep Footage of Accidents in Texas?

At Thompson Law, we understand the importance of gathering compelling evidence to support your car accident claim. One crucial piece of evidence that can greatly impact the outcome of your case is footage from traffic cameras. Many of our clients have asked the question “How Long Do Traffic Cameras Keep Footage of Accidents in Texas?”

Traffic cameras in Texas are usually managed by local municipalities and law enforcement agencies, each of which may have its own guidelines for retaining footage. In general, these agencies retain traffic camera footage for a period ranging from 7 to 30 days. If you need to obtain specific footage, it is crucial to act swiftly, as the recordings may be permanently deleted after the retention period expires.

Understanding the Time Constraints

After a car accident, time is of the essence when it comes to collecting evidence, including traffic camera footage. It is vital to act swiftly, as the footage recorded by cameras operated by entities such as the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) and local municipalities may not be stored for an extended period. Therefore, immediate action is necessary to secure and preserve this valuable evidence.

Navigating the Storage Duration

The storage duration of traffic camera footage in Texas can vary depending on the entity operating the cameras. Generally, footage from cameras operated by the DOT, toll road authorities, and local municipalities is not retained for an extended period. Consequently, delaying the pursuit of your claim could result in the loss of critical evidence, including traffic camera footage.

However, it is essential to note that certain private video cameras, such as those installed in businesses’ premises, might capture accidents occurring in their vicinity. In such cases, the relevant footage may be stored for a more extended period. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Thompson Law possess the necessary expertise to locate and recover any surveillance footage that can serve as compelling evidence of fault in your case.

The Limitations of Traffic Camera Footage

While traffic camera footage can be valuable, it is important to understand its limitations. Typically, traffic cameras are primarily triggered by specific events, such as instances of speeding or running red lights. As a result, these cameras do not continuously record the events leading up to an accident. Therefore, if you require footage depicting the events preceding your crash, relying solely on traffic camera recordings may not provide a comprehensive account.

To establish fault in cases where the other driver’s impairment or distraction caused the accident, alternative sources of evidence should be considered. Collaborating with a skilled accident lawyer will help determine the most effective strategies to prove fault in your unique circumstances, considering the limitations of traffic camera footage.

Obtaining Traffic Camera Footage: Procedures and Regulations

The process of obtaining traffic camera footage varies based on the entity controlling the cameras. Each entity has its own procedures and regulations governing the release of such footage. While requesting copies of the relevant footage might be sufficient in some cases, the parties in control may only release it upon court order. Thus, filing a subpoena may be necessary to recover traffic camera footage in certain instances.

Traffic Cameras

Intersections and Traffic Cameras in Texas

It is important to note that not all intersections in Texas are equipped with traffic cameras. Typically, these cameras are installed at busy intersections or areas with a higher frequency of collisions. Furthermore, some intersections might have older models of traffic cameras that capture low-quality photographs instead of sustained videos. In certain cases, dummy cameras might be present as deterrents against careless driving behavior.

Other Forms of Evidence to Establish Fault

While traffic camera footage can significantly contribute to proving fault, it is not the sole determinant of a successful car accident case. There are various alternative forms of evidence that can be utilized to establish liability:

1. Witness Statements

Statements from witnesses to the accident can provide valuable insights into the events leading up to and following the collision. Written or oral testimony from witnesses can shed light on crucial details, such as a defendant making an improper turn or running a red light, which can establish fault.

2. Expert Witness Statements

Expert witnesses, with their specialized training and experience, can offer valuable analysis in complex situations. An accident reconstruction expert, for example, can provide insights into determining the at-fault driver in intersection accidents.

3. Physical Evidence from the Scene

Physical evidence collected from the accident scene can play a crucial role in proving fault. For instance, shattered glass from the scene can be matched with a defendant’s broken headlight to establish their responsibility. Other physical evidence, such as an open liquor bottle found at the scene, can support claims of the other driver’s intoxication.

4. Photos from the Scene

Photographs taken at the accident scene can provide visual evidence supporting your claim. They can depict the extent of damage to your vehicle, suggesting excessive speed as a factor in the accident. Additionally, these photos can refute alternative explanations offered by the defendant, such as poor road conditions, and help establish their liability.

It is advisable to capture photos at the accident scene whenever possible, as they can be instrumental in bolstering your case.

Do livestream traffic cameras have a video history?

In Texas traffic cameras are located at strategic intersections and you can watch the live stream.

Avoid congestion with live camera footage in the following metro areas:

Abilene Del Rio Paris
Amarillo Eastland Pharr
Atlanta El Paso San Angelo
Austin El Paso San Antonio
Beaumont Fort Worth Tyler
Bryan Houston Waco
Childress Laredo Wichita Falls
Corpus Christi Lubbock Yoakum
Dallas Odessa

Contact Our Law Firm for Assistance

If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas, our car accident lawyers at Thompson Law are here to help. We possess the expertise and knowledge required to navigate the intricacies of personal injury law and effectively pursue your claim. Contact us today at (844) 308-8180 for a FREE CASE EVALUATION. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

No Win No Fee for Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Case FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is negligence?

Negligence means that another person’s actions or inaction caused the accident that led to your injuries. Negligence spans a broad spectrum of behavior, including drunk driving, failure to make premises reasonably safe, failure to keep a dog on a leash, failure to properly secure an 18-wheeler’s load, and countless other instances. 

Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?

Yes. An attorney specializing in personal injury will help you gather compelling evidence and clear documentation to prove you deserve compensation after your accident. This involves investigating your case, proving negligence, calculating damages, and negotiating a fair settlement.

What are some common causes of car accidents in Texas?

Common causes of car accidents in Texas include drunk driving, texting or talking while driving, speeding, tailgating, and aggressive driving or road rage. While drivers are often tempted to multitask, even a few seconds of distraction can cause a severe or even fatal crash. 

How can a personal injury attorney help?

A personal injury attorney can handle the complex process of a personal injury lawsuit while you focus on relief and recovery. Your lawyer will investigate your accident, talk to the insurance company, negotiate a fair settlement, and estimate your damages. Sometimes, your lawyer will take your case to court and involve expert witnesses to bolster your case.

Who determines fault in a Texas accident?

Deciding fault might look different in each case. Liability depends on the unique details of your accident and whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Law enforcement and insurance adjusters make specific judgment calls regarding fault, but if you sue for personal injury, the courts will ultimately decide.


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State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.