When you are involved in a car accident, it is usually the fault of another driver who was not paying attention or was driving carelessly. But, what if you were involved in an intentional accident? One might think to themselves, “why would anyone purposely cause a car accident?” However, the sad reality is that staged car accidents are much more common than you may want to believe.
Individuals who cause staged car accidents are only looking to make a personal injury claim and get a quick check by scamming the insurance company. These types of accidents have caused auto insurance premiums to skyrocket. Insurance companies are having to spend billions of dollars to payout claims for staged accidents.
In the New Orleans area, personal injury attorneys partaking in this staged accident scheme would hire “stagers” to cause a collision, fake injuries, and seek payouts from insurance companies. At least 33 individuals have been charged with conspiring to stage car accidents and scam insurance companies. Of these defendants, 11 have plead guilty in federal court.
Staged car accidents are one of the most dangerous scams out there as they can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. According to DMV.org, the most common staged accidents to look out for include:
The Brake Slam. This involves the driver in front of you slamming on their brakes so that you cannot avoid rear-ending their vehicle.
The Wave. Here, the other driver will notice your attempt to switch lanes and subsequently wave you ahead. As you attempt to maneuver into the lane, he will accelerate, causing a collision with your car and blaming you.
The T-Bone Accident. In this scenario, a driver will wait for your car to proceed through an intersection and then press the gas pedal and T-bone your vehicle. When the police arrive, “witnesses” will then claim you were the one who ran the stop sign or traffic signal.
Dual Turn Sideswipe. A driver in the outer lane of the dual turn slams into you if you go even the slightest bit out of the inner lane as the two of you are making your turns. They may also drive a bit into your lane and swipe your car and blame you.
Swoop and Stop. This is when a car suddenly pulls in front of yours and stops. Another vehicle will then simultaneously pull up beside your car, preventing you from swerving to avoid an accident.
Once the accident has occurred, you must also be mindful of towing scams. You should be especially skeptical of any tow truck that arrives at the scene before you even call for help. These towing rates will be extremely inflated as they are also part of the scheme.
Although anyone can be a potential target, scammers focus on certain victims to carry out their plan. Those at the highest risk of being a victim include:
– New or Luxury Vehicles
– Women and Elderly Drivers
– Big Rig Trucks
If you’ve been involved in a suspicious accident, you should always take photos of the damage, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, and obtain any witnesses contact information.
• Check out our blog on liars, cheaters, and scammers in personal injury cases
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, staged or not, and would like to discuss your case, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.