How to Get Traffic Camera Footage and Police Reports

Surveillance camera installed

After a car accident in Missouri, you may pursue compensation from the driver at fault for the crash. Some of the crucial evidence that can help you prove another driver’s liability includes surveillance videos and police reports. These types of evidence provide a neutral, potentially definitive view of what happened in the car accident.

Types of Traffic Camera Footage and Police Reports

Different kinds of cameras may capture various angles of a car accident. Examples of camera footage you might use for your legal claim include:

  • Traffic cameras, including cameras used by state and local transportation officials to monitor the roads, police CCTV cameras, and red-light cameras
  • Surveillance videos, including surveillance cameras installed on the exteriors of buildings or in parking lots
  • Vehicle dashcam videos
  • Police bodycam videos
  • Videos from helmet cams worn by motorcycle operators or cyclists
  • Cell phone video footage recorded by bystanders

Various types of police reports may provide critical evidence for your car accident case, such as:

  • Police crash reports authored by the officer who responded to the accident scene
  • Arrest or traffic citation records, if the police arrested or issued a ticket to any of the drivers involved in the crash
  • Conviction records for any criminal or traffic offenses committed in the accident

How To Request Traffic Camera Videos and Accident Reports If You Were Injured in a Crash

The process of obtaining traffic camera footage of a car crash may vary depending on who owned and controlled the camera. For state and local government cameras, such as traffic, red light, or police dashcams and bodycams, you must contact the relevant government agency to request a copy of the videos. You may have the right to obtain the videos under public records retrieval statutes or other laws and regulations. 

For privately owned cameras like businesses’ surveillance cameras or individuals’ dashcams, helmet cams, or cell phone video, you can contact the individual to request a copy. However, if the individual refuses to provide a copy, you may have to pursue legal processes to obtain the videos.

For police records, you may need to submit requests to the Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) or local law enforcement agencies that responded to the accident. The MHP maintains a website that directs individuals to the appropriate portals to request police records, including traffic crash reports, incident and arrest reports, and criminal history records.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Request Traffic Cam Videos and Police Reports?

While having a lawyer is not required to request camera footage or police reports from the government, an attorney can ensure your requests are filed correctly. You also may need legal representation to help you obtain camera footage from private businesses and individuals. An attorney can help you send records preservation requests to ensure that videos and records do not get deleted before you can obtain them.

Contact Our Missouri Car Accident Attorneys for Help with Your Case

When you need help securing evidence to support your car accident claim, the attorneys at Sumner Law Group, LLC, can assist you with preparing a compelling legal claim. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options for financial recovery. Learn how our Missouri car accident attorneys can pursue maximum compensation for your medical treatment, lost income, pain, suffering, and other losses.

Brent Sumner

Brent A. Sumner is the Managing Partner at Sumner Law Group, LLC. He focuses his practice exclusively on cases that involve serious personal injuries. Over the years, he has successfully represented thousands of individuals and families, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured accident victims.