Car accidents happen on a daily basis. With roughly six-million accidents each year in the United States, that makes for an average of 16,438 incidents each day. While accidents do happen, there are times when criminals create these scenarios.
It might sound insane, but staged car accidents are a major problem across the United States. The motives behind them vary, but the end result is almost always injury and sometimes death. Here are the types of staged car accidents to be aware of.
These are often performed with two vehicles. The first vehicle moves in front of you on the road, followed by the second vehicle getting in front of the first. The second vehicle then slams on the brakes, with the first vehicle following suit.
The goal is for you to rear-end the first vehicle while the second drives off in order to make you look negligent. The scam is designed to get money through your insurance company, but the perpetrator can also claim false injuries if they want more cash.
Motioning to Go
This is a common courtesy among drivers, but one that can be easily exploited. The criminal waves you on, you start heading through the intersection, then they deliberately strike your vehicle. The end result is you appearing to not have yielded or stopped when you should have.
All they have to do is deny giving you the motion to go. This maneuver is also pulled off during merges where the criminal waves you on then speeds up to cause the crash. Either way, you could be held liable.
The Side Swipe
Simple, yet effective, the side swipe occurs at bust intersections. You have to be in the inner-left lane for this to take place. As the criminal approaches the intersection, they position themselves so that they can side swipe your car.
The goal here is to claim that you were in the wrong and actually sideswiped them. It might not sound like much, but this scam has worked more times than you might imagine. What ends up happening is a “he said, she said” scenario, leaving the criminal to put on act in court and emotionally appeal to the judge.
How to Avoid Staged Accidents
In most cases, it’s near impossible to avoid a staged accident since you can’t control the actions of these criminal drivers. You’ll have to rely on quality legal representation, like these attorneys at Easton & Easton, after the fact. There are, however, a few tips you can follow to keep yourself slightly safer. Those include:
- Avoiding tailgating
- Always call the police immediately following an accident
- Use your cell phone’s camera to your advantage
- Don’t take the advice of seemingly innocent bystanders directing you to doctors or attorneys
- Never file a personal injury claim at the advice of a physician, especially if you’re not hurt
- Never let a tow truck you have not called to the scene take your car
When an accident does happen, the best way to avoid a scam is to stay calm and pay attention to what’s happening. If things seem odd or out of place, take note and be on guard. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the incident and take the correct course of action.