What is a Staged Accident?
This happened recently to a friend of someone in the neighborhood at Kam Shopping Center. And -- according to Kokua Line -- has happened more than once along Young Street…
In front of a car coming slowly out of a driveway, a bicyclist falls down in front of the car. He (almost always it's a man) claims you hit him, and demands cash ($300 to $500) to "forget about the accident". Tells you not to call the Police (they could give you a ticket), nor your insurance company (they could raise your rate).
If a Police officer does show up, they'll talk to the officer first, saying that you're making a "private settlement" and will try to keep you from talking to the officer at all.
They're taking advantage of the fact that "private settlements" are legal, and -- with very minor accidents -- happen around town fairly often. If an accident results only in very minor damage (a small paint scrape), it's common (and legal) for those involve to exchange information but agree not to do anything further. Occasionally, a little money may change hands.
However, if the damage could be enough that either party will submit an insurance claim, their insurance company will want a police report of the accident. And if anyone could have been injured, a police report is a must.
Don't fall for this fraud. Except for the most minor accident, always call 911, ask for an officer to come to the scene, and tell them how it happened when they show up.
If there's any chance someone could have been hurt (even if they swear they won't sue you later), law requires you to "render assistance", at a minimum: by calling 911.
Even if no one was hurt, if there might any "invisible damage", your insurance company will want to be notified, and they will want there to have been a police report.