Staged Accidents: A Common Threat for Drivers

Scam artists today seek every opportunity to take advantage of people and rob unsuspecting individuals of their money. Once thought of primarily as pickpockets, fortune tellers, and card cheats, scammers today can be as seemingly innocuous as the family driving next to you on the highway.

This con, also known as “cash for crash” or “slam-ons” have been around for many years but has become more prevalent as crafty slicksters find more creative ways to bilk insurance companies and unsuspecting motorist. Most commonly, the con sets up or manipulates a scenario in which they are hit from behind by the victim. This is a very organized operation, often involving tow truck drivers, and even medical professionals who partner with cooks to file fake claims. 

Even though these incidents often occur with other motorist, truckers can also become a target for staged accidents. The assumption is that trucking companies or rig owners have insurance that will pony up big bucks, ultimately making these big trucks the perfect target. If you suspect you may be a victim, it is important to consult a legal professional.

New York has earned the title of the “cash for crash” capital. However, regardless of if it is a truck crash lawyer in Saint Joseph, Missouri or a car accident attorney in Manhattan, New York, finding a legal professional who is well versed in this type of crime is imperative.

Indeed, many con artists stage car accidents to take advantage of other motorists and file lawsuits for their supposed medical expenses and suffering. Rather than fall victim to such a scam, you can protect yourself and safeguard your money by knowing the tell-tale signs of a staged accident and the proper response to such fakery.

Reluctance to Call the Police

Scammers who stage accidents may be reluctant to call the police for help. They may want to settle the matter by asking you for cash to keep them quiet or by insisting that they have witnesses that will swear the accident was your fault.

Even if the other driver threatens you or tries to blackmail you in such a manner, you should still call the police. In fact, in states like Missouri, car accident laws mandate that people call the police and exchange insurance information with each other before they leave the location of the accident. The police will be able to write up an official report and log your complaint against the other driver.

Faking Injuries

Scam artists who stage these wrecks may insist that they are fine at the scene of the accident, only to file a medical claim against your insurance several days later. Many of these cons are in league with less than reputable chiropractors or doctors, who will file expensive claims against your insurer, thus raising your rates.

Even if you and the other driver seem to feel fine after the wreck, you can safeguard yourself against such fake claims by insisting that an ambulance or first responder unit be called to the scene. Having the other party checked out by paramedics or having the other driver’s refusal of treatment at the scene documented in the police report can help you prove that the other person’s medical claims are false.

Adding Victims to the Wreck

Cons are skilled at diverting your attention from what is really going on at the scene of the accident. If you suspect that you are being conned, it is vital that you count how many people are in the other car and how many are actually involved in the wreck.

Many scam artists work in teams and add more people to the scene of the wreck while you are distracted. When the police come to make the report, you may be unable to prove how many people you supposedly hit with your car. You can keep accurate count by getting pictures or video with your cell phone camera in the first few minutes after the accident. Having documented proof of the scene can protect you against lawsuits in court later.

As inconceivable as it may seem, many tricksters stage accidents in a bid to take advantage of people. You can protect yourself and your money by knowing how to spot a staged accident and what you should do if you detect such a con.

Jamica Bell is freelance writer and contributing author for numerous blogs. After recently hearing of a staged accident fraud, she was inspired to contribute this article. During her research, she obtained useful information from the site of a truck crash lawyer in Saint Joseph. Considering how common this crime is, she has decided to share her findings with as many people as she can, especially young inexperienced drivers.

 

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