Each year, many unfortunate drivers find themselves as victims in staged auto accident scams. The drivers who operate these schemes do so by forcing unknowing motorists into collisions. They then make false insurance claims to receive compensation. The tactics used to pull off these scams successfully vary and often require cooperation between multiple drivers to accomplish. As a motorist, it’s important that you understand these operations and how they are performed.
Here are the most common:
- Swoop and Squat – Perhaps the most well-known version of the staged auto accident is the swoop and squat. This tactic involves a driver suddenly moving over in front of you and slamming on their brakes, forcing you to rear-end their vehicle. Oftentimes, there will also be a second driver beside you, blocking a preventive swerve into the next lane.How to Avoid it – The distance at which you follow another vehicle is an important part of safe driving and is critical in avoiding this scam. Do this by ensuring that you are no less than three seconds behind the driver in front of you. When that vehicle passes a stationary object, you should be able to count at least three seconds before you pass the same object.
- Courtesy Wave or Drive Down – This driver instigating this type of accident will seem quite friendly at first. As you attempt to merge into traffic, they will slow down and wave you ahead. Once you begin your merge, they will speed up suddenly and crash into your car, denying that they ever waved you ahead in the first place.How to Avoid it – Always follow right-of-way procedures. It may be convenient to merge as someone is waving you in, but by following normal procedures instead, you can ensure that you don’t unwittingly become the victim of auto accident fraud.
- Side Swipe – This accident typically occurs in dual turn lanes with the victim being in the inner lane. In this scenario, it is important to ensure that your car does not drift into the adjacent lane while completing your turn. If it does, someone may take advantage by purposefully speeding up to hit your vehicle.How to Avoid it – In this instance, the only way you can avoid the scam is to diligently ensure that your vehicle never crosses the line and constantly remains in your own turning lane. Even slightly drifting across the line can give crooks the opening they need to cause a collision.
- Shady Helpers – This type of scam generally occurs following a genuine auto accident. A stranger at the scene may try to solicit victims for particular collision centers, doctors, or attorneys. These parties may then file fraudulent claims and lead drivers to believe that unnecessary medical treatments, repairs, or even lawsuits are needed. How to Avoid it – In order to prevent yourself from being directed to an untrustworthy third party for help following your accident, it is important to do your homework. Research collision centers, medical practitioners, and attorneys beforehand. Determining their credibility before taking your business there will help you avoid being a victim in a fraudulent scheme.
Understanding the tactics used in car accident fraud is an important part of protecting yourself on the roadway. Accidents are an unfortunate event that will occur for most of us at some point or another. However, staged auto accidents and the criminal behavior involved only add to the level of frustration and anxiety.
If you believe you have been the victim of car accident fraud in the Baton Rouge area, contact Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers and request a consultation. Our skilled and experienced auto injury attorney will fight for you and the justice you deserve. To reach us, simply click here, or call us directly at (225) 387-2323.