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Old 10-11-06, 01:12 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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I am a witness to an accident, police took my name, what are they doing with it now?

My house is right on the route of my friend, so he gave me a ride back from home. As we pull out of hte school parking lot, we see a black jeep with sucky driving. This guy can't back up right, and he ends up driving into a bush when pulling out. My friend comments, says we should probably keep a good distance from that guy. So, we and the rest of traffic is going at 25mph or so down this road. There is a road block because there is utility work going on, and a little detour, so traffic was slower than usual. Meanwhile, we are still ahead of this Jeep, keeping our distance. THe car infront of the jeep slows down and stops for the detour, the jeep does not. Needless to say, Jeep smacks into rear of that car. Car's back end is totalled. Jeep has a hefty bumper, he was okay. We were fine, since we kept our distance we had ample time to stop and pulled over off the road slightly to allow the car behind to stop.

Of course being a road block on a fairly busy road, cops were everywhere. It takes just a short bit for a cop to arrive, instructs the two involved in the accident to pull over, asks us as a witness to do the same. He asks for an ID, drivers license, and what we saw, and for phone #'s.

So do they just use this incase this needs to go to COurt?
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Old 10-11-06, 01:18 PM   #2
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Yeah, sometimes they write a more detailed report later and they may need to get more information from you. You might be subpeonaed to testify in court, but not likely unless there was maiming, dismemberment or death occurring... Don't talk to anyone's insurance companies if they come knocking, you might get dragged into a tug-o-war battle. In which case, bill both of them for your time...
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Old 10-11-06, 01:21 PM   #3
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so if insurance companies call or whatever, tell them I am not interested? In a way though, I would like to tell them what I saw. The bad driver is a menace to cyclists as well, he should pay extra insurance.
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Old 10-11-06, 01:24 PM   #4
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They put your name on the official police report as a witness. You may get a call from an insurance company asking you what you saw. I dont see the big deal with cooperating. Just tell them the facts as you see it and be done with it. It likely wouldnt take more then 15 minutes of your time. You may have to go to court if any violations were issued and being protested. It just means in the eyes of the officer you are an indepedent witness to the accident. Later.
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Old 10-11-06, 01:24 PM   #5
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yeah, pretty much. Unless they are hard up for cash, then they will sell it a known bike thief.
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Old 10-11-06, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
so if insurance companies call or whatever, tell them I am not interested? In a way though, I would like to tell them what I saw. The bad driver is a menace to cyclists as well, he should pay extra insurance.
Yeah, just tell what you saw and what you told the police. A lot of times, the insurance guys will try to sway you to their side and to come up with rationalizations or subjective judgements on things like traffic-conditions or weather. Just give it straight and you shouldn't be dragged in too far.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:02 PM   #7
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I dont know but you sure seem to have a whole lot of drama in your life.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:06 PM   #8
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I dont know but you sure seem to have a whole lot of drama in your life.
Only in the last 48 hours
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Old 10-11-06, 02:06 PM   #9
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yeah, pretty much. Unless they are hard up for cash, then they will sell it a known bike thief.
I heard they keep witness names on file in case the accused is a member of a prominent crime family. If so, they accidentally lose the file and the witness accidentally gets run over by a garbage truck.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:13 PM   #10
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You miget supppoenaed as a wittnes in any court proceedings. It's a PITA, but I got a certina sence of satisfaction from helping a ****** bag get what he deserved.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:16 PM   #11
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They will want to pull your teeth out, I think.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:19 PM   #12
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How many monkeys?
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Old 10-11-06, 02:21 PM   #13
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Most of the time, police officers will write notes on the accident and fill in the blanks later. Most likely, you will be listed as a witness to the accident. License is just used to verify your identification.

You may, or may not be called upon by the insurance company. Unless you were directly involved, they will probably use the police report and recorded statements by the involved parties.

However, in the event that something does go to court or you are called upon, it helps to write down everything that happened as you recall it - time, weather, visibility, etc. - to help you refresh your memory. I got into an accident a few years back and keeping notes was helpful.
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