Staged car accidents are a type of insurance fraud. In these scams, criminals purposely cause an accident and then file false claims for damages. The victims of these scams can be left with significant repair bills, and their insurance rates may go up. While some staged accidents may involve only two vehicles, others may involve multiple cars and even pedestrians. In any case, one must be aware of the signs of a staged accident to avoid becoming a victim.
Types of Staged Accidents
Although there are many different ways that staged accidents can be carried out, there are three main types:
- Swoop and Squat
- Wave and Hit
- Bad Actor Pedestrian
Swoop and Squat
The swoop and squat is a type of car insurance scam where the fraudster will intentionally cause a minor rear-end collision with your vehicle. They will then claim that you are at fault for the accident and file a false insurance claim. This type of scam is often challenging to detect, as the damage to your car may not be significant. However, it is important to be suspicious if you are involved in a rear-end collision where the other driver seems insistent on placing blame on you.
Wave and Hit
The wave and hit is another type of car insurance scam where the fraudster will wave to you that the coast is clear to turn and then hit you as you begin to pass. This scam is often used to bait drivers into thinking that the other driver is friendly when, in reality, they are looking to take advantage of the situation. If you are ever in doubt, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not engage with other drivers on the road.
Bad Actor Pedestrian
In this scheme, the fraudster will stage an accident by jumping out in front of your car or intentionally bumping into it while walking along the crosswalk. They will then claim that you hit them and caused their injuries (whether real or fake). This scam can be costly, as the fraudster may exaggerate their injuries to receive a higher settlement from your insurance company. If you are involved in an accident with a pedestrian, it is important to get the police involved to investigate the incident.
How To Protect Yourself
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are involved in an accident, and the other driver seems insistent on placing blame on you, it is important to be suspicious. There are several things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a car collision scam:
- Be Aware - Understand and be alert to various car collision scams.
- Do Not Engage - Even if a driver is waving at you to go ahead, maintain the right of way and do not fall for the "kindness" of other drivers.
- Never Admit Fault - Much of a scammer's success is due to the victim admitting fault. Even if you are unsure, wait until you have had a chance to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.
- Use a Dash Cam - Dash cams are becoming increasingly common as drivers use them to thwart false claims of fault against them. If the authorities show up after an accident, dash cam footage may be the evidence you need to clear your involvement.
If you were injured in a car accident and are seeking compensation, call us today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out our form online today for a free consultation!