How to handle an accident - My take

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#22
Scenario 1- You witness an accident:
- Stop at the scene, and provide your name and phone number to all parties involved. Tell them that you witnessed the accident, and that you will discuss it with Law Enforcement or their Insurance Companies.
- Do not tell them what you saw (Why debate it with folks in an emotional situation? Why risk that one party will try to discredit your version?)
- Do not tell them that you have video (What if your recording failed? Why debate what is on the video with them?)
- Do not wait around for Law Enforcement. Provide your information and be on your way. Most police, sheriffs, and state patrols will call a witness after the fact.
- When called by Law enforcement, tell them what you witnessed, and tell then that you "May" have captured the accident on video, and that you will E-mail a copy to them or their department. Do not offer to send them a memory card or your camera. They may protest, but trust me, they or their State Attorney have a way of receiving an E-mail.
- When contacted by an auto insurance company, see above.
I disagree. You will never hear back as the investigators do not want to mess with another possible witness.

Scenario 2- You are involved in an accident:
- Stop, turn off your vehicle, unplug your Dash Cam, disconnect it, and place it in your pocket or a bag. Why??? You do not want Law Enforcement to "talk you in to" turning this over to them as evidence. You do not want them to try and seize it- legal or not. You do not want to debate what is on the tape with the other party to the accident. What if you were involved in an accident with another member of law enforcement or firefighter? The "Good Old Boy" network will do everything in their power to protect their comrade- why tip them off that you may have footage.
- Look around for witnesses and other surveillance footage- Obtain full name and phone number of any witnesses. If any surveillance cameras, ask if you can tape their feed on your cell phone.
- Use your cell phone to photograph the other vehicle, as well as their license plate. (Many people flee once the police are called)
- Dial 911, and ask for a police report- Do this every time- no matter how polite, apologetic, etc the other driver is. Just tell them that you need the accident documented.
- Wait for law enforcement, tell them your version of events, and let them do their investigation. If you are unjustly cited for the accident, say nothing about your video, and present it in court.
- Call your insurance company, provide them with your version of the events, the contact information for the other party.
- If any debate arises about the accident, if you hear anything other than "You are 0% at fault, and we are paying for your damages" that will be the time to produce, review, and send your video to the insurance adjusters involved.
I disagree. Turning off the dash cam is a good way to miss a car hitting a parked (wrecked or witness) vehicle, or to miss the other driver throwing a punch.
 
Joined
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#23
One more thing, lock your (still running) dash cam(s) in your car, and document if/when the other guy trys to get to them.
 
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