What to Do If You Are a Victim of a Staged Auto Accident
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Auto accidents are potentially dangerous, traumatic, and usually expensive. The average person will do everything they can to avoid being involved in a car crash. Unfortunately, some individuals see the car crash as a money-making venture. They stage accidents and then submit bogus insurance claims to receive financial compensation. This is becoming an increasing problem across the United States.
If you are involved in one of these staged auto crashes, speak to the auto accident lawyers at Cochran Kroll & Associates P.C. for more information on how to protect yourself.
What Are Staged Auto Accidents?
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the people responsible for these staged automobile accidents cost the insurance industry around $20 billion annually. That means we all end up paying higher insurance premiums equating to around $100-$300 per car per year.
Staged car accidents are meticulously planned and executed. There are five types of these accidents:
- The T-Bone: The fraudsters wait for your car to pass through an intersection and then accelerate to T-bone your car. Accomplices arrive on the scene and claim to be independent witnesses saying you were at fault for running a red light or stop signal.
- The Swoop and Squat: The fraudsters work in tandem. The swoop vehicle pulls in front of you and suddenly stops. The accomplice places their car alongside yours to stop you from swerving to avoid the accident.
- The Wave: The fraudster sees you trying to change lanes and waves you ahead, but as you attempt to maneuver, they accelerate, ensuring an accident occurs.
- The Brake Slam: The driver in front of you slams on their brakes for no good reason causing you to rear-end them.
- The Dual Turn Sideswipe: The fraudster takes the outer lane of the dual turn, and either swipes your car if you stray the slightest bit from the inner lane or drive into the inner lane and collide with your vehicle. They will then blame you for the crash and will usually have accomplices who will support their story.
The next part of accident fraud is to file personal injury claims for injuries that they did not suffer. They might go to unscrupulous healthcare professionals to diagnose fictitious injuries or visit legitimate doctors and claim soft tissue injuries, which are difficult to diagnose.
How Do I Avoid a Staged Auto Crash?
The best method of protecting yourself from these auto insurance scams is to ensure you have a pen and paper in the car. Keep your phone camera easily accessible. The fraudsters are vulnerable to hard evidence so take photographs of:
- The accident scene
- The vehicles involved, and the damage to them
- Vehicle license number
Takedown notes on:
- Driver license number
- Car insurance information
- Vehicle registration information
- Details about the other driver and their passengers, such as approximate height and build
- The contact information of the other driver, passengers, and witnesses, such as their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
You must also call the police. Once they have attended the accident, they will prepare a police report which may be vital evidence to prove you are not at fault. You must also notify your insurance company and let them know you think the accident was staged and a scam.
Seek Legal Advice if You Have Been Involved in a Staged Accident
Contact an experienced auto accident attorney to protect your legal rights if you have been involved in a staged auto crash. They can help determine if you are a victim of a scam, can protect you from bogus claims, and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and property damage.
Talk to the skilled attorneys at Cochran Kroll & Associates P.C. for valuable advice and counsel.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.