Your Thoughts about Showing Dash Cam Footage at Accident Scene

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#1
I'm an experienced, responsible driver who just ordered my first dash camera.

My intent is to document a car accident that I might be involved in.

What are your experiences with showing law enforcement dash camera footage of accidents, as opposed to withholding it?

I'm in California and I have NOT been able to determine who assigns points/blame for accidents. If the police blame one driver, but the insurance the other, on whose DMV record does responsibility and points show up?

Thanks
 

dash riposki

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#2
The insurance company can't issue DMV points.
They can raise your rates, or the other insurance company can try to claim you were at fault, or partially at fault for the purposes of liability or payouts. This is totally separate from DMV stuff.
The cops may not issue a ticket at all, but the insurance companies may butt heads with each other over fault.

I'd be nervous about handing the data card to the cop, or showing the video to the other driver or cop at the scene. Worse comes to worse, you save it, make sure what you think happened, happened, (and is on the card) and show up at traffic court with it.

I'm not sure there is any legal requirement to hand over the dash cam or card to the cops at the scene, although you hear people showed the video to the cop at the scene and 'my dashcam saved my license!"
:)

FWIW, I was in a major accident in CA years ago, the two other drivers were at fault, but no tickets were ever issued. (OK, one driver died...but I thought the idiot he was racing should have been ticketed.)
 
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#3
Thanks for your reply.

I should re-frame my question about points. On what basis does DMV determine liability and points: police report; insurance adjusters' determination; a combination of the two?
 

dash riposki

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#5
I don't think the insurance companies have any input into the DMV or cop stuff.
 

tabetha

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#6
VERY different from the UK then, here it is sensible to only give them a copy as they"lose" lots of things, also when spoken to here by cops you are normally "cautioned" part of that states "it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court, anything you do say may be given(recorded)in evidence" essentially and this has happened to lots of people because they didn't mention at time of questioning some evidence the court doesn't allow that evidence.
I very nearly knocked a cyclist off their bike nearly two years ago he was nearly hit by lots of cars as he was violently swerving into the road as you passed him, I gave footage copy on usb to cops who took 1 1/2 YEARS to give me it back!!
Personally I wouldn't mention cam footage to other party and only mention it if specifically asked about it by police, every one can "forget" at the time.
 

c4rc4m

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#7
I would never show footage to the other party, as they could snatch he cam and destroy it. Equally, I'd want to review anything before giving it to the police. Best to make sure you know what it shows before handing it over. Sometime you may find you also did something wrong, or even if you didn't, the footage from the angle of the cam gives a different perspective that can make it look like you did. So I'd view it and consider it first. If anyone says anything, in the confusion you forgot you had a dashcam until afterwards. I'm assuming there's no law in own your jurisdiction that require the immediate surrender of a dashcam, in which case your actions may have to be different.
 
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DashcamDPR

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#8
Also when spoken to here by cops you are normally "cautioned" part of that states "it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court, anything you do say may be given(recorded)in evidence" essentially and this has happened to lots of people because they didn't mention at time of questioning some evidence the court doesn't allow that evidence
Quite sure that doesn't apply in a traffic incident, especially where no one is arrested. If you have to go to court to defend yourself because the other party in the incident decides not to take the blame, the dashcam footage isn't "previously withheld evidence", it merely backs up your version of events that you would naturally have disclosed at the roadside.

if they said "well you didn't tell us you had dashcam footage" you would argue "I told you at the scene that he drove through a red light"
 

tabetha

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#9
It can apply, you do not have to be arrested to be cautioned, you can agree to be under caution, things are not always done the correct way, I have had cases thrown out as the Police questioned myself without an appropriate adult, which seems funny when you're 51 years old but due to mental health issues they must use an appropriate adult from the appropriate adult service.
 

DashcamDPR

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#10
I sit corrected.... but either way dashcam footage isn't "withheld" evidence
 

throrope

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#11
Thanks for your reply.

I should re-frame my question about points. On what basis does DMV determine liability and points: police report; insurance adjusters' determination; a combination of the two?
These questions are best answered by your jurisdiction and likely easily found through your state's Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent website.

In my experience within our jurisdiction, the responding police officer submits reports describing incidents and and issues citations based on observed violations. The determination listed on citations can be accepted via a guilty plea by the cited driver or disputed in court. Citations are often issued to clearly delineate liability. Liability is determined by admission, plea or court verdict. Points and penalties are assigned by the jurisdiction in accordance with a preconfigured schedule based on the type and severity of the violation.

Insurance claims are often established through citations, police reports or verdicts, but can be made without them. Insurance carriers keep record of claims and use them to determine their risk of providing coverage and your premiums in accordance with the jurisdiction's insurance laws.

The back of my Geico insurance card lists instructions to follow in the event of an accident and IMHO is good guidance.

Since in our jurisdiction all can be sorted after an accident though due process, prudence should be exercised with any visual evidence. If liability is admitted or accurately assigned, additional information may not be relevant.

We resolved a fender bender without involving the authorities. Only afterwards did I understand the value of leaving the dashcam recording while we assessed damage. The video clearly captured unhindered and uncompromised physical movement of all involved. Since the claim was settled, it was not needed. Often participants afterwards claim injury not identified during an incident.

Sharing of visual evidence when not involved may become a good deed gone punished due to required participation in resultant legal processes, especially if consequences are limited to property damage.
 

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#12
I was in a prang where the police were called - I called them because the other guy was refusing to give me his details. When they arrived, nobody was cautioned, the police simply parted us to get our individual details & check them against their database. they weren't interested in hearing my accusation that the other guy came down the wrong lane & tried to force me off the roundabout - nor were they interested in hearing his accusation of my dangerous driving. Once they had all our details on their forms, they gave each of us a copy & went on their way.
I'm guessing there'd have to be some serious damage going on (or suspect drugs/alcohol) for the police to take any real interest.
 

c4rc4m

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#13
Quite sure that doesn't apply in a traffic incident, especially where no one is arrested. If you have to go to court to defend yourself because the other party in the incident decides not to take the blame, the dashcam footage isn't "previously withheld evidence", it merely backs up your version of events that you would naturally have disclosed at the roadside.
Generally, in the UK, you have to disclose evidence ahead of a Civil matter in a process called "discovery" and you can be penalised for not doing so. However, Civil cases take, months / years to come to Court and whether you use evidence is up to you. There's no requirement in a Civil case to disclose evidence that's not in your favour. The only thing you can't do at any point, is lie to the Court as that = perjury. However, generally a Court won't ask questions beyond the evidence presented.

If however, the other Civil party knows about the footage, they can subpoena it and use it to prove their case if it shows error on your behalf. That's a good reason for keeping quiet about it until after you've reviewed it. Although rare, cameras do lie, usually due to angle and foreshortening.

In a Criminal matter, I'm unsure if the police can seize dashcam evidence at a scene, S.19. 3 of PACE appears to give them the power to do so, although whether a vehicle constitutes "premises" is another matter. I doubt the inside is a public place. If neither apply, they'd probably need to revisit you with a warrant.


It can apply, you do not have to be arrested to be cautioned, you can agree to be under caution, things are not always done the correct way, I have had cases thrown out as the Police questioned myself without an appropriate adult, which seems funny when you're 51 years old but due to mental health issues they must use an appropriate adult from the appropriate adult service.
The police will caution you if questioning you about anything where they suspect a criminal offence has been committed as all interviews must be conducted under caution. They can question you at the roadside. If you are cautioned then my advice would be to simply state that if you are under caution, you wish to be interviewed with a lawyer present. At that point they'll either ask you to attend the police station voluntarily with a lawyer, or if they already have strong evidence of an Offence, arrest you, in which case, you simply request the attendance of a lawyer.

It's best to say as little as possible even when not under caution, because say anything that gives rise to a suspicion of an Offence, and they will simply caution you at that point, but by then you've already said something that's potentially incriminated yourself, although they will question you about it again under caution. Depending on what you said, it could be difficult to explain away.

I was in a prang where the police were called - I called them because the other guy was refusing to give me his details. When they arrived, nobody was cautioned, the police simply parted us to get our individual details & check them against their database. they weren't interested in hearing my accusation that the other guy came down the wrong lane & tried to force me off the roundabout - nor were they interested in hearing his accusation of my dangerous driving. Once they had all our details on their forms, they gave each of us a copy & went on their way.
I'm guessing there'd have to be some serious damage going on (or suspect drugs/alcohol) for the police to take any real interest.
It's an Offence to withhold details in the UK after an accident. Your name, address and insurance details must be supplied to the other party within 24 hours. The police made no arrests as the other driver clearly gave his details to the police.

Your last line probably clinches it, if there had been injury, they would have been interested in accusations of offences. However, when the damage is merely proprietary, the police often won't get involved as it's not worth the paperwork / their time for a minor infraction especially when they haven't witnessed it, as there's a lack of hard evidence of offences when it becomes he said / she said and UK Criminal Law requires proof beyond reasonable doubt.
 

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#14
I'm in California and I have NOT been able to determine who assigns points/blame for accidents. If the police blame one driver, but the insurance the other, on whose DMV record does responsibility and points show up?

Thanks
Old thread but to clarify:

In California points are assigned based on a conviction in court or a guilty / no contest plea to the charges. That's the only way you get points assigned to your drivers license. Insurance companies have nothing to do with DMV points.
 

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#15
I would not share anything with anyone on site, i would however share my footage with my insurance company and then its their job ( i pay them for that ) to make sure the blame get put on the right person.
I am not aware that 2 insurance companies ever had to go to trial in a case / dispute.

Here its the police that determine if you get marks on your license, and we just have 3 of those ( 2 if you are a new young driver )
But the frame of which you get hose marks on your license are off course set forth by our law giving assembly.
We use to get a 1500 DKkr fine for using a phone in the car, this did not help so now new law mean you also get a mark on your license for that (y) and i think its fair, the one thing most sane motorists fear are loosing their license, fines as proven over the last decade do not change a thing, at least not 1500 DKkr fines.

Going all the way to court for assignment of marks on a license for braking the traffic code seem unproductive and time / money consuming procedure, but the American system are a lot different here, the suit / counter lawsuit tradition are not really a thing here.
Americans also elect all their judges ( me like ) but here people in such office are just assigned.
While people are liable for instance this time of year and sweeping snow off your sidewalk, so if people slide and fall you are to blame and will have to pay damages if you have not cleaned your sidewalk, and if push come to shove the municipality will do it and send you the bill for it, and that will be a hefty bill as municipalities do not use the cheapest snow sweeper, cuz why should its just tax money they spend.
 

Rocinante

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#16
Interesting.
What if the other party insists that I show him/her the captured footage after an accident (in New York)?
I am guessing that I am not legally obligated to do so no matter whose fault it may be.
 

dash riposki

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#17
They can see it in court, or their lawyer can see it, after you get it home and copy it. (And verify it is there!)


So what happens if the other party snatches the cam or card and destroys it? Sorry, I don't automatically trust people. Exchange the legal info required, move on.
 
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#18
Interesting.
What if the other party insists that I show him/her the captured footage after an accident (in New York)?
I am guessing that I am not legally obligated to do so no matter whose fault it may be.
I wouldn't show it to anyone unless the alternative was being arrested. I'd go home, download the video, stash a copy locally, and send copies to USAA and my lawyer (if I decided I needed one) and let them decide what to do with it.

On a similar note, I recently struggled with the question of whether to video the inside of the car or not. It affected my purchase decision. If I were going to video the passenger cabin, I would have looked closely at a camera like the Transcend DrivePro 520, which seems to have pretty decent video quality, just for the simplicity of installation. But after looking at both sides of the question I decided I didn't want to be locked into that decision. Here's why.

Assuming you're not a cab or Uber driver (who I think should always video the passenger cabin), the only advantage to recording your passengers is that a lawyer can show the dramatic footage of them being thrown around the car to the court when some moron hits you. It may sway the jury in your favor, especially if there's lots of blood involved. That's the only plus.

The downside is that the camera also records the driver doing things that could be used to "prove" distraction on the driver's part such as fiddling with the radio, smoking a cigarette or vaping, playing air drums while singing to the music, turning around to yell at the kids, eating a sandwich, drinking a coffee, picking a nose, putting on makeup, glancing at the phone or GPS, or whatever.

In balance, I think the chances of these quite ordinary activities being used as evidence of distraction outweigh the drama of being able to see the pax bouncing around inside the car. So I ordered the Street Guardian SG9663DC instead of the Transcend DrivePro 520 or another "taxi cam" type of camera. If I ever decide to become an Uber driver (quite unlikely) and want to video my passengers, I can mount the rear camera forward and facing back. Until such time, I'll mount it on the aft windshield.

Richard
 

old4570

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#19
Innocent until proven guilty ! ( Presumption under the law )
If you have proof of your innocence = Good for you !
If some one tries to screw you over , then by all means sue them ... ( You are innocent after all )
There is such a thing as wrongful prosecution ..
And you have the right to go to court ( traffic offences ) , and show the proof !
Dont need a lawyer , just the truth ( of course your innocent )

If the other party lied , then they have made a false statement ( A crime in itself in most places ) .
Got a cam = Good ! Keep it to yourself till you need it .
 
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#20
Innocent until proven guilty ! ( Presumption under the law )
If you have proof of your innocence = Good for you !
If some one tries to screw you over , then by all means sue them ... ( You are innocent after all )
There is such a thing as wrongful prosecution ..
And you have the right to go to court ( traffic offences ) , and show the proof !
Dont need a lawyer , just the truth ( of course your innocent )

If the other party lied , then they have made a false statement ( A crime in itself in most places ) .
Got a cam = Good ! Keep it to yourself till you need it .
Over here, if the case goes to court, you have to provide the evidence to the opposition in many jurisdictions or else it will be inadmissible. But I'm not aware of any law in any jurisdiction that requires you to hand it over to them on the side of the road. In general, I wouldn't even tell them I had it. I'd tell USAA (my insurance company) and my lawyer if I used one.

Richard
 
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