Can you imagine being in a car accident to only discover or suspect that the other parties involved in the “accident” intentionally cause the accident to commit insurance fraud? Maybe you don’t have to imagine, maybe you have been in that exact situation.
Criminals work together or alone to cause accidents that make other unsuspecting motorists appear at fault. These are usually followed up with bonus medical claims and fraudulent claims against your insurance.
4 ways that criminals cause car accidents
When your instincts tell you that the crash was not an accident, it is important to listen to yourself. Here are four common ways that insurance fraud crashes can occur according to the Insurance Information Institute:
- Drive down: In this scam, criminals wave to a motorist to merge, pull out or turn. When the honest driver does so, they are suddenly collided with by the criminal.
- Swoop and squat: These scams involve a couple of drivers and accomplices. One or more vehicles box the target’s car in by pulling up beside them and then the car in front slams on their brakes causing the target to rear-end them.
- Panic stop: This is a similar scam as the swoop and squat, but the car in front waits until the driver is distracted momentarily and the vehicle in front slams on their brakes and causes a rear-end accident. Usually, the car is full of people who all have “medical issues.”
- Sideswipe: This scam usually happens in intersections that have double-turn lanes. When both cars turn at the same time the criminal drifts and side-swipes the other motorist.
The best way to defend oneself from staged accidents is to know how to recognize them. The above are four common ways criminals target unsuspecting motorists, but they are creating new strategies every day.
If you suspect that you’re the victim of this kind of motor vehicle accident fraud, make sure that you discuss this issue with your advocate. That may go a long way toward establishing fault for the wreck, which is important if you’ve been injured and are seeking compensation. You don’t want to let a scam artist make it harder for you to make a valid claim.