Car accidents happen every day on the country’s highways. This costs auto insurance companies millions of dollars in paid accident claims each year. However, the repercussions are even greater for you as an innocent motorist, when you become unknowingly implicated in a fraud scheme.
Car incident fraud happens frequently in urban areas where there are more vehicles and also in wealthier communities because drivers are perceived to have better Salvage insurance companies.
If you have collided or have been collided and you have the feeling that something is not quite right, it could be that instead of a real accident you find yourself facing an organized or acted one.
We are seeing more and more cases of unscrupulous people staging accidents (including fake injuries) making false insurance claims and illegally collecting thousands of dollars.
Criminals often target new, leased, or commercial vehicles because they tend to be better insured. Additionally, criminals prey on solo female drivers and the elderly as they are believed to be less disruptive in accident schemes.
People commit auto accident fraud when they increase their claims or when they file claims for accidents or thefts that never happened. Another scheme is to cause a crash and make it look like it’s your fault.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, one of the most common schemes is the so-called “swoop and squat.” This scheme involves two people acting together in two separate vehicles. The braking (“squat”) car moves directly in front of you and begins to slow down. The passing car (“swoop”) comes up behind, and cuts in front of the braking vehicle. The squat car brakes quickly, forcing you to crash from behind, while the car you passed takes off.
- Insist on calling the police if you are involved in an accident.
- Get the information of the other driver. Make sure you get the name, address, phone number, license plate number, the exact name of the insurance company, and the policy number.
- Ask for the names of all the people who are in the other vehicle.
- If you have a camera or cell phone with a camera, take pictures of the damage to the cars involved.
- Don’t follow other cars too closely. This will help you avoid the swoop and squat.
It is important to know that this organized crime is prominent in states that require personal protection insurance that takes action without the need to determine who was at fault for the accident, which is why they are popularly called states with “ insurance coverage laws ”. without fault” (no-fault).
The broad meaning of the term indicates that in that state an insurance system is implemented in which the carrier can claim against his own policy for expenses incurred for the damages suffered in an accident without having to determine who was at fault.
The best way to defend yourself in these kinds of situations is to know what to expect. Here are some of the most common ways “ acted accidents ” occur, according to the NICB:
- Side Rubbing: Typically occurs at busy intersections with double left-turn lanes. The criminal stands next to him on the external road and when they cross to the left he hits him from the side.
- Stopping cold: The criminals in this case usually drive an old car full of passengers; they select the victim and stand in front of it in the same lane. One of the passengers in the scammers’ car reports when the victim becomes distracted – for example, talking on the phone – and the car ahead slams on the brakes causing the distracted driver to rear-end. In this case, the victim’s insurance will have to pay for the damages caused and the injuries (which are usually false) of the passengers.
- Yield Deception: The scammer gives the victim the right of way with a signal when it would be the scammer’s turn to pass. Once in the middle of the intersection, he lashes out at the victim causing him to crash but alleges that he did not give way or make up some excuse.
Here are some signs that an accident scam is brewing:
- Unknown people show up at the scene of the accident suggesting those involved go to certain clinics for treatment or contact certain attorneys to file insurance claims.
- When medical personnel attending an accident insist that you file a bodily injury claim even though you were not injured.
- When tow trucks show up at an accident scene without anyone calling them.
If you are involved in an accident and suspect that there is some kind of deception, you can:
- Call the police or traffic officer. Listen to your intuition. Tell the police that you suspect fraud. Get the name of the officer who attends the accident and then a copy of the report, even if the damage is minimal.
- Contact your auto insurance provider as soon as possible, no matter whose fault it was. Even if the accident seems minor, notify the insurance company, tell them that you suspect something strange in the case, and explain why you think it could be a fraud.
- Remember to always drive carefully. If you have an accident, do not forget the advice that gives you and you will avoid being scammed by fraudulent people. Contact one of our agents for more information. Real more Buying Real Estate Made Easy With Tips That Work