Staged Car Accidents & Fraud
Staged car accidents are more common than ever before. As a driver, you need to know what types of car accident scams exist and how to avoid them. Finally, if you believe that you’re the victim of a staged car accident, you need to know what to do to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation. Here’s what you need to know about staged car accidents from our experienced car accident attorneys.
What Is a Staged Car Accident?
A staged car accident is where someone makes a car accident happen on purpose. Then, they make an insurance claim. The insurance claim might be based on real injuries, and property damage or the losses may be entirely made up. A staged car accident is an intentional car accident as a way to defraud victims and insurance companies into paying false claims.
Types of Staged Car Accidents
Here are some common types of staged car accidents:
Drive Down – A driver motions another car into traffic. The victim may be wanting to turn into oncoming traffic without the right of way, or they may be trying to change lanes. Once the victim begins to move, the driver speeds up and hits the victim. The driver denies that they ever motioned for the victim to enter the lane of travel.
Panic Stop – The target victim is in the lane of travel. The offender is in front of them. There’s another person in the offender’s car. The extra person in the offender’s car watches the victim. When the victim takes their eyes off the road for even a second, the passenger gives the signal. The offending driver slams on their brakes, causing an accident.
Side Swipe – A sideswipe accident occurs when there are two turn lanes in the same direction in an intersection. The offending driver turns at the same time as the target victim. The offender intentionally sideswipes the victim during the turn.
Swoop and Squat – The swoop and squat occurs when an offending driver cuts off the target driver. Then, the offending driver applies their brakes quickly. In the swoop and squat, there may even be a third vehicle involved to block in the target victim so they can’t maneuver around the offending driver. When the accident occurs, the third vehicle disappears.
Fake Car Accident Claims
Fake car accident claims are ways that people try to claim compensation after a car accident even though the accident is staged. An individual may cause the crash on purpose, or they may claim injuries and losses that are false or embellished. As a victim, you’re not responsible for paying for a fake car accident claim. However, it’s up to you to show that the claim is fraudulent through witness statements, photographs, and other evidence.
False Car Accident Claim What to Do
If you suspect a false car accident claim, what to do begins with notifying the police. You should also tell your insurance company as soon as possible. If you suspect a false car accident claim, what to do should include speaking with witnesses and researching the history of anyone involved.
If a driver has a history of accidents, looking into what happened in those cases can help you prove your claim. Be sure to provide the information and evidence that you have to the insurance company so that they can help you investigate the false car accident claim.
Victim of a Staged Car Accident
A victim of a staged car accident may deserve financial compensation. In addition to compensation for the damages that you sustain in the accident, you may deserve an additional amount to compensate you for the fact that you’re the victim of a staged car accident.
Staging a car accident is a crime; the police may prosecute the person responsible for crimes including assault, malicious destruction of property, and reckless driving. As the victim of a staged car accident, you have the right to give input to the criminal charges brought against the offender.
What Is Swoop and Squat?
Swoop and squat is a type of car accident scam. In the swoop and squat, one or two vehicles cause the victim to rear-end another car. One vehicle pulls in front of the target victim quickly. Then, they apply their brakes.
The target victim can’t react in time, and a collision occurs. If a second car is involved, that car pulls in front of the other vehicle to be the reason that the first car had to slam on its brakes. Even a careful driver who leaves sufficient following distance can be the victim of a swoop and squat.
How to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Car Accident Scam
Here are some ways to avoid becoming the victim of a car accident scam:
- Learn about common scams; know the warning signs
- Investigate the accident for possible scams; trust your intuition
- Be skeptical of any third-party witnesses who appear on the scene and back the story of the other driver
- Don’t accept referrals to attorneys, tow-truck drivers or other people promising help at the accident scene
- Never tailgate; leave extra following distance to have time to react to unexpected circumstances
- Seek video evidence if it exists from nearby businesses, homes or government entities
- Thoroughly investigate your car accident claim including speaking with witnesses
- Share your suspicions with law enforcement and the insurance company
- Consider using a recording dash camera when you drive
What Is Not Something You Should Do to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Staged Automobile Accident?
Something you should not do to avoid becoming the victim of a staged automobile accident is tailgate. Many car accident scams involve pulling in front of a driver to quickly apply brakes and cause a rear-end collision. Avoiding tailgating the driver in front of you gives you a cushion for reaction time. Tailgating is something you shouldn’t do to avoid becoming the victim of a staged automobile accident.
Contact our Skilled Car Accident Lawyers
Do you think that you may be the victim of a car accident scam? Our attorneys can help. At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, we offer aggressive legal representation for accident victims, including the victims of car accident scams. We’re prepared to investigate your case thoroughly. Let our team fight for justice for you. Call us today for a free consultation about your claim.