How to Spot Staged Car Accidents and Avoid Driver Scams
We're told that accidents happen, but not every car crash is an accident. While you're trying to stay safe on the roads, some less scrupulous drivers are trying to scam money out of insurance companies by staging car accidents. (And these scams aren't just occurring in Asia or Russia.)
Luckily, many of these scams are similar and therefore more easily identified, if you know what to look for. Here are some of the more popular staged car accidents, and how to avoid them.
All the Road's a Stage
Scam victims and insurance companies have identified the most common staged accidents:
- The "Swoop and Squat": The most common staged crash tactic can occur in smoothly flowing traffic -- a car pulls up beside you, so you can't change lanes, and then the driver in front of you slams on the brakes, causing you to rear-end them.
- The "Right Turn Drive Down": You're just making a right turn from a stop sign, and then a car parked at the curb accelerates forward and hits the rear corner of your car; now the driver is saying you ran the stop sign or pulled in front of her.
- The "Wave": In denser traffic, another driver may notice you're trying to switch lanes and wave you in, but when you attempt to change lanes, he accelerates, causing a collision with your car; when the police arrive, he'll deny ever giving you permission.
- The "Dual Turn Sideswipe": If you're making a turn through an intersection, a driver in the outer lane of the dual turn may ram you if you go slide the slightest bit out of the inner lane; or they may drive a bit into your lane and swipe your car and then blame you.
His Acts Being Faked Injuries
So how do you prove you've been the target of a staged accident? Obviously a dash cam with video footage of the accident would help, but it's not necessary. There are things you can do at the scene of the accident that will help your case.
Document the accident as completely as possible. Write down everything you remember, take pictures of the scene, and talk to as many witnesses as you can. (Be aware that the people staging the accident may plant their own witnesses.) And make sure you call the police and they make a full report of the accident so you have an official, and impartial, account of the accident.
If you think you've been set up in a staged accident or you've been injured in a car accident, you may want to talk to an experienced injury attorney today.
- Injured in a car accident? Get your claim reviewed by an attorney for free. (Consumer Injury)
- Fault and Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents (FindLaw)
- What Is Car Accident Fraud? What Can You Do? (FindLaw's Injured)
- Fraud and Economic Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.