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  • How To Handle Staged Car Accidents

    Tough economic times sometimes require desperate measures; unfortunately, some folks take this to the extreme. So it comes as little surprise that staged car accidents are becoming more common throughout the United States for the intent of pocketing money from auto insurance fraud in the form of false car insurance claims.

    Staged Car Accident Tricks

    How To Handle Staged Car Accidents

    Believe it or not, there are actually sound-minded people who conduct elaborate rehearsals before perpetrating actual staged auto accidents. Consequently, these con artists are extremely efficient at what they do.

    To improve your awareness of these carefully choreographed accidents, the following are some of the most common staged-accident scenarios:

    The T-Bone Accident

    This occurs when a scam artist will wait for your car to proceed through an intersection and then jam the gas pedal and T-bone your vehicle. When the police arrive, phony witnesses will then claim you were the one who ran the stop sign or traffic signal.

    The Wave

    This occurs in heavy traffic. When the scam artist notices you're attempting to switch lanes, he or she will wave you ahead. But then as you attempt to maneuver into the lane, the scam artist will gun the gas, causing a collision with your car. When the police arrive he or she will deny ever providing a courtesy wave, placing you at fault.

    Swoop and Stop

    In this scenario, a car will suddenly pull in front of yours and stop or squat. Another vehicle will simultaneously pull up alongside your car, preventing you from swerving to avoid an accident.

    The passengers in the car that stopped will then, in collaboration with a shady physician or chiropractor, file personal injury claims for phony injuries. Or some will go to actual doctors, claiming whiplash or some other "soft tissue injury," which are difficult to detect.

    False Endorsement

    Following an actual accident, a scam artist will provide contact numbers to an alleged five-star repair shop, or a powerful lawyer or a caring doctor. But in actuality, each one will be in cahoots with the scam artist. The repair shop will in turn overcharge your repair fees, the lawyer may pressure you into filing a lawsuit, and the doctor may provide bogus treatment.

    Tips for Avoiding Staged Car Accident Scams

    Staged car accident scam artists are vulnerable to facts. The more information you provide, the less inclined the scam artist will be to follow through with the charade.

    When driving, always carry a camera (a camera phone will suffice), pen, and paper. This way, if you're involved in an accident which hints of phoniness, you can validate inner suspicions with facts. Snap photos from every angle of the involved vehicles, with special focus on the damage. Also, capture on camera the license plate, as well as photos of all the passengers in the other vehicle.

    Take copious notes. Record the general height and weight and ethnicity of the other car's driver and passengers. You should also try to obtain the driver's:

    • Driver license number.
    • Vehicle registration information.
    • Car insurance information.
    • Name, address, and phone number.

    In addition, you should:

    • Always call the police. This is especially imperative if you suspect something "fishy".
    • Never settle on site with cash. Report the accident and/or accident claim to your auto insurance company. Be sure to express your suspicions if you feel fibbers are afoot.
    • Be careful without how much personal information you disclose. You don't want to discover two weeks later that your identity has been stolen.