Wherever money flows, scammers are sure to congregate, and the road is no different. The high cost of vehicles and the proliferation of collision insurance offer fraudsters many opportunities to take advantage and pocket cash. Understanding the common forms of auto accident fraud is critical to avoid falling into these traps and being hooked for a big payout.
Beware of fraud!
In any type of car accident, you should take steps to protect yourself both physically and financially. If you suspect a fraud, collecting all available evidence becomes even more important as it can be used in any criminal trial.
You should also always call law enforcement at the scene for an official police report. People willing to cheat on you won’t have a problem lying to get their way. So you’re going to want to get all of the eyewitness testimony that you can.
Find out here very common car crash scams and how to reduce the risk of falling victim to them.
1. Forced stern
A forced rear-end crash, also known as a “dive and squat,” is one of the most common car crash frauds. The dive and the squat are an attempt to get your car to have a vehicle in front of you so that its driver can make a claim against you. Since rear-end collisions are the fault of the rear vehicle almost everywhere, this scam is very effective.
Sometimes a second scam car is used to apply the brakes in front of the vehicle you encounter. This gives the scammers an even better case as then the middle car will have a valid reason to brake. The first car often disappears quickly to cover up the scammers’ tracks or to make it seem like you have no reason to overtake someone.
2. Staged accident
Staging an accident is as easy as having a cheater with right of way giving you permission to go ahead and then force a collision. They could lie and say they never waved, or they could claim they hit a fly, scratched their noses, or something else ridiculous.
Also known as shutdown, this car crash scam is relatively easy to avoid. If you always follow the right of way you may not be trapped in a situation where it looks like you caused the accident.
3. Bad actors
Shady helpers may appear at the scene of a collision and offer you some sort of help. This help can take the form of a recommendation or a direct quote for services such as vehicle repairs, medical care, or even legal advice. Often times, these bad actors work directly with the cheater involved in the collision.
Bad actors are simply people or companies who want to benefit from their situation. They may be looking to cut your legitimate insurance claim, or they may position themselves to make fraudulent claims on your behalf. Be careful who you give your contact information to at the scene of the accident.
4. Deliberate page swiping
An intentional side swipe is a certain type of staged accident that is harder to prevent. If your car ever moves into a different lane, opportunists can take this opportunity to paint their car against your car. In the car accident, you were almost always to blame for being out of your lane.
Two-lane lanes are an easy place for side swipes. Many two-lane lanes do not have lines following their path through the entire intersection, allowing vehicles to drift into the wrong lane. Be especially careful when using these lanes.
Avoiding these scams can be as simple as raising your awareness and driving skills. Scammers are smart, however, and someone out there could always find a way to bypass your protection.
Dashcams have become increasingly popular in recent years as an additional protection against fraudulent claims against drivers. Stay vigilant and save whatever video evidence you can. And if scammers manage to blame you for a staged crash, you can turn to a skilled attorney like this Atlanta auto accident attorney who can turn things in your favor and even prosecute the scammers.
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