USA: Selling dashcam content to insurance companies

DashcamDPR

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So what this might amount to is that he's come to a forum with a fabricated story to try to plant the idea into our heads to make money from our dashcam footage, but via the victims of car crashes, and in a way, everyone involved in the crash is a victim if it means they suffer some form of loss, fault or not.

Now while I personally don't actually give a damn about the OP's (alleged) expensive consulting business, I expect it involves milking money from the misfortune of others.

and like I said, if any of his claims of his income are true, his losses from his crashes are relative, akin to myself losing £50 out of my wallet! More fool him for lack of insurance! (assuming it is a "him")
 
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vandriver

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First, thanks for all of your thoughtful feedback. It is very clear what you think both of me and this idea.

While there's so much here to respond to, I'll try to keep this both brief and civil.

First, aside from clarifying that raqball's observation was correct, the medical cost was borne by my insurance coverage, not me personally, the remainder of the post is true. Please accept my apologies for this oversight.

Nigel, your reasoned response is appreciated. My $25K vehicle loss came because, while I insure all my cars for my liability, until recently I self-insured my non-financed vehicles for collision loss. While this approach has saved me lots of money over the years, the recent massive rise in mobile devices, distracted drivers and near-misses from drivers with their faces buried in their phones here has changed the baseline for me and now I carry collision coverage on all.

Kamkar1, unfortunately we don't enjoy the awesome regional and urban public transport infrastructure that you have in Denmark and multiple vehicles are very common here in the US. It was such a pleasure to have solid internet access on the train north out of Copenhagen back in 2010. We are just getting this in the regional public trans in many parts of the U.S.

raqball "I can say I have a pHD in rocket science and build rockets for NASA but it would be a lie." Change "rocket" to "fluid dynamics" and it is a true statement for me, even when numerous other 4 and 3-letter federal agencies are added beyond NASA. But, this is an aside.

DashcamDPR, your passion is clear and, having visited and worked in the UK several times, I understand your outrage; once you get beyond surface niceties, the UK and the US operate under fundamentally different social contracts. Fortunately, we are in agreement on the most important item ; the innocent and LEOs get the video footage for free. This is a shared value and this is good. But, apparently my proposal to make the distracted/drunk/high offender, whose negligence just potentially ruined the innocent driver's day/week/life, pay to access my video and have me involved in their mess makes me a disgusting "nasty money-grabbing scumbag". I guess I find a certain balance in viewing your approach of providing free gifts of your time and property to the at-fault party, effectively underwriting and rewarding their poor/dangerous/risky behaviors and decisions, in equal (though not quite so strong) terms related to naiveity and a certain bewilderment at your undervaluement of your time. Perhaps this reflects the differences in our respective upbringings and surroundings.

This is the internet and I don't expect us to converge on this, so let us agree to disagree on this, part here civilly and carry on with our respective lives.

Again, thank you for all your thoughtful responses.
 

dash riposki

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There's probably no way to do it without getting 'dirty', yourself.

I always threaten to make some $$$ the next time some clown runs into me, but it would probably not be worth the trouble.

It would be nice to at least break even, taking into account the lost time, wages, and hassle.
 

Nigel

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Nigel, your reasoned response is appreciated. My $25K vehicle loss came because, while I insure all my cars for my liability, until recently I self-insured my non-financed vehicles for collision loss. While this approach has saved me lots of money over the years, the recent massive rise in mobile devices, distracted drivers and near-misses from drivers with their faces buried in their phones here has changed the baseline for me and now I carry collision coverage on all.
For most people here, it makes no sense to insure for liability only and we all have public health insurance, so the maximum loss is a few 100 $ in insurance excess and increased premiums for the next few years. Most people faced with the prospect of paying for a potentially useful video or alternatively leaving it to their insurance to deal with and potentially losing a few 100 $ would refuse the offer and so your plan would not be worth the effort!

Certainly nobody here has a $25K vehicle without full insurance.
And the use of phones and other electronic devices while the engine is running is illegal so we don't really have your problem anyway.
 

flank

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Guess I was a sucker when I stopped on the highway and gave away a minor accident capture for free in 2016 :sick: Even gave them an edit with 2 cameras :oops:

 

raqball

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First, thanks for all of your thoughtful feedback. It is very clear what you think both of me and this idea.

While there's so much here to respond to, I'll try to keep this both brief and civil.

First, aside from clarifying that raqball's observation was correct, the medical cost was borne by my insurance coverage, not me personally, the remainder of the post is true. Please accept my apologies for this oversight.

Nigel, your reasoned response is appreciated. My $25K vehicle loss came because, while I insure all my cars for my liability, until recently I self-insured my non-financed vehicles for collision loss. While this approach has saved me lots of money over the years, the recent massive rise in mobile devices, distracted drivers and near-misses from drivers with their faces buried in their phones here has changed the baseline for me and now I carry collision coverage on all.

Kamkar1, unfortunately we don't enjoy the awesome regional and urban public transport infrastructure that you have in Denmark and multiple vehicles are very common here in the US. It was such a pleasure to have solid internet access on the train north out of Copenhagen back in 2010. We are just getting this in the regional public trans in many parts of the U.S.

raqball "I can say I have a pHD in rocket science and build rockets for NASA but it would be a lie." Change "rocket" to "fluid dynamics" and it is a true statement for me, even when numerous other 4 and 3-letter federal agencies are added beyond NASA. But, this is an aside.

DashcamDPR, your passion is clear and, having visited and worked in the UK several times, I understand your outrage; once you get beyond surface niceties, the UK and the US operate under fundamentally different social contracts. Fortunately, we are in agreement on the most important item ; the innocent and LEOs get the video footage for free. This is a shared value and this is good. But, apparently my proposal to make the distracted/drunk/high offender, whose negligence just potentially ruined the innocent driver's day/week/life, pay to access my video and have me involved in their mess makes me a disgusting "nasty money-grabbing scumbag". I guess I find a certain balance in viewing your approach of providing free gifts of your time and property to the at-fault party, effectively underwriting and rewarding their poor/dangerous/risky behaviors and decisions, in equal (though not quite so strong) terms related to naiveity and a certain bewilderment at your undervaluement of your time. Perhaps this reflects the differences in our respective upbringings and surroundings.

This is the internet and I don't expect us to converge on this, so let us agree to disagree on this, part here civilly and carry on with our respective lives.

Again, thank you for all your thoughtful responses.
I think your post rubbed many the wrong way and came across as rather daft and obtuse. If you make $500 an hour then good on you but there really was no need for that remark in the OP unless you were trying to impress someone?

Next, while I am new here as well, I believe the majority of forum members here are dash cam enthusiasts and most people have a sense of morals and values. You wanting to charge someone 1K for video footage from your camera is counter to what most people stand for. Most here are friendly, helpful and based on the responses would gladly hand over their footage for free...

You are free to try and charge someone if you want but it won't fly. In order to charge them a fee, they'd need to have your contact info. That info could just be handed over to insurance company who could then just ask a court to subpoena the footage. If you failed to hand it over then you'd be in contempt of court.
 

DashcamDPR

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Fortunately, we are in agreement on the most important item ; the innocent and LEOs get the video footage for free
You said re-imbursed, which implies they have to pay to begin with. Still morally wrong in my eyes

But, apparently my proposal to make the distracted/drunk/high offender, whose negligence just potentially ruined the innocent driver's day/week/life, pay to access my video and have me involved in their mess makes me a disgusting "nasty money-grabbing scumbag"
YES, You're not judge and Jury, let the proper authorities decide how much someone should pay, and since you claim to earn so much through your valuable career, why the hell should you scrounge more off people who (no matter what circumstances cause a crash) may not be able to afford to shell out that kind of cash, like I said, some people have to work a week to earn what you claim to earn in one hour. And if you're not directly involved in a crash, just a witness with a dashcam then again I stand by the comment describing what I think of you!

I guess I find a certain balance in viewing your approach of providing free gifts of your time and property to the at-fault party, effectively underwriting and rewarding their poor/dangerous/risky behaviors and decisions
The footage would find the "at fault" party AT FAULT, so how you think that's underwriting/rewarding heaven only knows! And "Gifting" it is what "nice" people do.... do you know what "nice" people are?

....in equal (though not quite so strong) terms related to naivity(sp) and a certain bewilderment at your undervaluement of your time. Perhaps this reflects the differences in our respective upbringings and surroundings.
It's not for you to declare that I "undervalue" my time, I will give (because I'm morally decent) my time wherever it's deserved, it's one thing I'm DAMN GOOD AT
But this isn't about how valuable one's time is, You consider people like me to be beneath you, that's something you've made perfectly clear, but I'm not the one trying to squeeze money out of people who might not have it just because someone previously crashed into my car am I? Like I said, even the "at fault" party will sustain some losses.
 
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vandriver

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I think your post rubbed many the wrong way and came across as rather daft and obtuse.

Yes, it was clearly both an unpopular notion and delivery style, with the use of specific numbers throwing additional gasoline/petrol onto the fire.

You are free to try and charge someone if you want but it won't fly. In order to charge them a fee, they'd need to have your contact info. That info could just be handed over to insurance company who could then just ask a court to subpoena the footage. If you failed to hand it over then you'd be in contempt of court.

Raqball, thanks, this is a very useful starting point that gets to the crux of the matter: Can one charge an insurance company a reasonable fee for access to a private item when it is subpoenaed? I suspect your scenario is correct and that this is may all be moot. But that's why I asked this here in this the legal forum. I think I know a couple people I could ask and they probably wouldn't even charge me for the answer.

naivity(sp)

DashcamDQM, thanks for the spelling correction, one negative result of the big collision is that my spelling skills simply aren't what they used to be. The dictionaries I'm consulting say that it is actually spelled "naivety", but maybe we are working from different language sources.

You consider people like me to be beneath you

Actually, I don't think this at all. However, I do feel bad that I offended you.
 

DashcamDPR

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If you didn't put monetary value on things that either don't need it or should morally be free for the sake of helping people in unfortunate situations (no matter how much better or worse off than those people one might be) almost all of this thread wouldn't exist!
 

Submariner Gold

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After having two nice cars totaled recently by distracted young drivers, I am outfitting all my cars with dashcams, with the high value vehicles getting them front & rear

In one collision, the fault was obvious, the other driver was cited and I was paid by their insurance company.
But the pay-out only covered the basic cost of the vehicle and in no way covered all the time/expense I had into maintaining, upgrading and customizing the vehicle at a high level, the many hours I spent dealing with this, or the risk of serious injury that the distratcted driver exposed me to.

In the other collision, no citations were issued because I couldn't prove that the young driver that t-boned me at 50MPH actually ran the red light and I'm out ~$25,000 for my vehicle, ~$70K for medical and an untold cost to my career.
What I learned is that, even if you are faultless, the insurance structure never covers you for the full cost of someone else's negligence.

The dashcams, cards, converters and installation are costing me about $1000.
While the gear would pay for itself after one collision to my cars, I'd like to recover the real costs of this gear if I happen to record someone else's accident.
I know I would have happily paid 10x that cost for clear video footage of the 2nd collision.

For me and I'm sure others here, time is real money and, each collision took hours at the scene to sort things out.
So, while I am a very nice and compassionate person, I am very reluctant to get entangled in other people's messes.

I would like to develop a simple, legally correct, form to hand to the involved parties saying that:
- the dashcam video content of the incident is copyright and owned by me,
- the content is available to law-enforcement entities for free,
- the content is available for review by involved parties or their representatives for $1000 each,
- the video content may not be copied, shared or redistributed,
- the content access cost increases to $2500 if subpoenaed as evidence since I may need to consult legal counsel,
- video content not related to the incident is not available,
- not at fault parties will be reimbursed their access cost.

So, does such a form already exist? If not, are there other items I should be including?

The alternative is that I simply don't get involved; I just drive on and spend my very limited free time with my kids or consulting at $500/hr, but the innocent drivers suffer.
Dont know US Law, but in the UK this would not work.
1. As soon as the guilty party knew their was a video, they would cave in. So dont need your video.
2. Unless you were deliberately going to withold it from an innocent party, but give it to the Police. Then again wouldnt work. I think most clear cut cases, involve some sort of legal infringement by one or more parties, speeding, tyre condition, driving dangerously, recklessy etc. So the police wouldnhave it and the innocent oarty wouldmjust ask them for a copy.

Plus whenever you tried to collect your money in any contest you would come across a bit like the guy who finds you bleeding in the gutter, and kindly offers to call an ambulance ...... provided he gives you his shiny Rolex first!
 

lance

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After having two nice cars totaled recently by distracted young drivers, I am outfitting all my cars with dashcams, with the high value vehicles getting them front & rear

In one collision, the fault was obvious, the other driver was cited and I was paid by their insurance company.
But the pay-out only covered the basic cost of the vehicle and in no way covered all the time/expense I had into maintaining, upgrading and customizing the vehicle at a high level, the many hours I spent dealing with this, or the risk of serious injury that the distratcted driver exposed me to.

In the other collision, no citations were issued because I couldn't prove that the young driver that t-boned me at 50MPH actually ran the red light and I'm out ~$25,000 for my vehicle, ~$70K for medical and an untold cost to my career.
What I learned is that, even if you are faultless, the insurance structure never covers you for the full cost of someone else's negligence.

The dashcams, cards, converters and installation are costing me about $1000.
While the gear would pay for itself after one collision to my cars, I'd like to recover the real costs of this gear if I happen to record someone else's accident.
I know I would have happily paid 10x that cost for clear video footage of the 2nd collision.

For me and I'm sure others here, time is real money and, each collision took hours at the scene to sort things out.
So, while I am a very nice and compassionate person, I am very reluctant to get entangled in other people's messes.

I would like to develop a simple, legally correct, form to hand to the involved parties saying that:
  • the dashcam video content of the incident is copyright and owned by me,
  • the content is available to law-enforcement entities for free,
  • the content is available for review by involved parties or their representatives for $1000 each,
  • the video content may not be copied, shared or redistributed,
  • the content access cost increases to $2500 if subpoenaed as evidence since I may need to consult legal counsel,
  • video content not related to the incident is not available,
  • not at fault parties will be reimbursed their access cost.

So, does such a form already exist? If not, are there other items I should be including?

The alternative is that I simply don't get involved; I just drive on and spend my very limited free time with my kids or consulting at $500/hr, but the innocent drivers suffer.
I was a fire, event & accident photographer in the 1980s. I had a press type service. So I sold to news papers for a fee. I was also a wedding photographer for 24 years. A huge investment here. I did have a form for selling. I never sold photos to drivers. I never actually saw the accident. I would hand a business card to drivers for their Insurance agent or lawyer. So my girlfriends father was an attorney for Amica in New Jersey. I asked him his opinion as he was a former magistrate in New Jersey!...he said that if a ticket or crime has been involved, lend it to police. The drivers will be happy & Police won't share with press or lawyers because this is (proprietary) property, just as my wedding work is. I certainly would charge for News or lawsuits. Insurance companies could save millions with your dash cam evidence. Lawyers make lots also. Don't let anyone say you are greedy while these guys drive a Mercedes!.They don't feel bad. My 1983 form said "thank goodness their are photos"! Yes, you may need to testify as to the camera details etc., but you are not a witness, the cam is. You can & should help drivers when you stop. So have a first aid kit. Most Insurance and Lawyers will "welch" on a promise to pay your fee for sure! It happened to me once in 1985...so it's view & decide now. Never lend or sell a chip to any lawyer or agent. You sell a DVD.
 

lance

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Dont know US Law, but in the UK this would not work.
  1. As soon as the guilty party knew their was a video, they would cave in. So dont need your video.
  2. Unless you were deliberately going to withold it from an innocent party, but give it to the Police. Then again wouldnt work. I think most clear cut cases, involve some sort of legal infringement by one or more parties, speeding, tyre condition, driving dangerously, recklessy etc. So the police wouldnhave it and the innocent oarty wouldmjust ask them for a copy.

Plus whenever you tried to collect your money in any contest you would come across a bit like the guy who finds you bleeding in the gutter, and kindly offers to call an ambulance ...... provided he gives you his shiny Rolex first!
OK...so you believe this most (important) types of service should be free. I tried that quote at my Doctor's & my Insurance agent. Hmm.... So let's analyze this new type of car "service". Ambulance & Police cars have public dash cameras to use. Private dash cam video Police can borrow it to settle tickets & crimes. No problem. Since it is proprietary material, they won't give it out to Insurance companies, Lawyers or drivers.
If Lawyers & Insurance Companies want it, that's a different case. Remember they are in this for the MONEY "thank goodness you had a dash cam" It will save possibly millions for them. They may want it. So you (((play))) it at their office once and they decide. And you may need to testify as to how it was made.
 
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