Auto accident attorneys often detect fraud
Many drivers throughout Chicago have become victims of fraudulent auto accident claims, which are a common way for organized crime rings to make money. Drivers are often unaware of the fraud, and quietly accept their role in the accident, questioning how they could have done things differently to prevent the accident from occurring. However, seasoned auto accident attorneys are often able to spot the signs of these staged accidents and help their clients take action to eliminate the fraudulent claims.
Types of scams
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, staged car crashes are seen in a variety of scenarios, all of which eliminate a motorist’s ability to remove themselves from the situation. These include the following:
- Swoop and squat – This occurs when a vehicle suddenly swoops in front of another car and slams on the brakes. The rear vehicle is left with no time to stop and crashes into the front car.
- Drive down – When a driver motions for another vehicle to merge into traffic ahead of them, they may be preparing to “drive down” the other car. The driver will motion that the other motorist can come in front, but the dishonest driver then guns their engine so the merging car will hit them. Then they deny that they motioned to the other driver at all.
- T-bone – This often occurs when a driver passes through an intersection. Another driver from a side street accelerates through the intersection and hits the victim’s car. A group of “witnesses” then emerges stating that the victim ran a red light or stop sign, causing the crash.
Most staged motor vehicle accidents involve many people, including doctors, body shops, and private individuals. They will often stage a minor crash and then claim extensive injury and damage to their vehicle. Their doctor will substantiate their injury claims and produce inaccurate records, body shop companies will claim the damage is more than actually occurred, and more individuals than were actually involved in the crash will claim to have been passengers.
How drivers can protect themselves
Injury is a common occurrence following staged accidents. While injuries can be incredibly devastating, dealing with the effects of a staged crash in addition to injuries can be agonizing. To keep themselves safe from being victimized, motorists should fearlessly document every aspect of their accident. They should take photographs of everything, including damage to vehicles, injuries, and anyone who was at the site. They should also make notes about how the other passengers act before and after police arrive.
If the stagers see that the other party is meticulously documenting everything, they may be more likely to walk away without pursuing the matter in fear of being caught. Those who believe they have been the victim of a staged accident should contact the National Insurance Crime Bureau immediately.