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In numerous reports from the LA Times toInsurance.com, the topic of staged auto accidents is something worth understanding. All too frequently, dishonest people will use schemes against unsuspecting drivers to make bogus insurance claims. These con artists carefully plan and practice their craft so they can accuse and then hold up the other drivers’ insurance company for a settlement. There are many ways drivers can be aware of these scams in order to inform their insurance agent and their carrier. (LA Times, ‘Swoop and Squat’: Staged car accidents, insurance fraud rise in L.A., May 23, 2014)

Some common ways accidents are staged include:

  • The slammer slams on their brakes to cause the other driver to rear-end their vehicle.
  • The scammer swoops and stops so the unsuspecting driver is unable to avoid a collision with an accomplice.
  • The scam artist will wave another driver to merge but then speed up and blame them for the crash.

Not only do drivers need to be aware of false claims for auto damage but they should also keep fake injuries in mind: “In any fraudulent accident, you may find yourself on the hook for injuries you didn’t cause. The con artists and their passengers may collaborate with a shady physician or chiropractor and file personal injury claims for phony injuries. Some may even visit legitimate doctors and claim whiplash or other ‘soft tissue injuries,’ which are difficult to detect,” (How to Handle Staged Accidents: Department of Motor Vehicles, September 2014).

“These staged accidents can be very challenging to avoid,” comments Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer. “All drivers need to be on the defensive when out on the road, not only for their own safety but for others as well. When driving defensively, you have more of a chance to avoid situations that may put you at risk of transportation fraud and increase your auto insurance premiums.”

Drivers across the country should always be aware of their surroundings on the road. Car insurance scams can have some serious consequences ranging from increased auto insurance premiums to paying for damages caused by the scam artists. There is also the trauma that comes along with a staged accident and many drivers will see danger around every street corner (Transportation Fraud: Popular Schemes, Liberty Directions, Winter 2014).

“By knowing what to expect when it comes to staged accidents, you are well on your way to preventing them. By working together with your auto insurance agent, you can further protect your interests against transportation fraud. You will both be able to spot fraud if it occurs and move to stop it before it snowballs out of your control,” says Darras.

DarrasLaw is Americas' most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States.

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