Car accidents are bad enough on their own. You may sustain a personal injury, have costly damage done to your car, and end up paying high insurance fees for years to come. What’s even worse is that there are people out there in St. Louis that stage car accidents to commit insurance fraud. In this situation, you have all the negatives of a car crash along with the added frustration of it being a scam.
You may know that in the case of a rear-ending, the car in the back is often found to be at fault. Those who force rear end accidents understand this and take advantage of it. They will get ahead of you, wait until you are both stopped in traffic, and then put their car into reverse and hit you. They will often raise the stakes by also claiming a fake injury, which is another typical scam. To avoid this, keep your following distance high. A scammer is much more likely to pull this off if you are tailgating them. If you are at a safe distance, you have a better chance of avoiding an accident. Additionally, you can install a dash camera so you can have video evidence of their fraudulent behavior.
While most scammers don’t get away with it, there are always a few that get big paydays from faking injuries. This motivates all scammers to do their best to get a payday of their own. One of the ways they get it is by faking an injury after a crash. They will often claim to have whiplash or phantom pains, two conditions that are hard to disprove. Sometimes they even get a doctor or chiropractor to give them the diagnosis they desire. The best way to avoid this is to watch the driver immediately after the crash. If they seem like a fraud risk, file a police report on the crash. Sometimes a scammer will not decide to fake their injury until a few days after the accident. If a police report says that they seemed fine, that will lower their chances of being able to sue.
The Fake Victim
This describes a situation where you get into an accident, then days later a person who was not even involved claims to be injured from it. In this scenario, you can end up paying for the injury of a person who was nowhere near the crash! To avoid this, take ample pictures of the scene. You can also file a police report, which will confirm the number of people in each vehicle.
Being scammed by insurance fraudsters may seem uncommon, but it really isn’t. In fact, there is an entire department of the National Insurance Crime Bureau devoted to this scam. They happen every day, and they can happen to anyone. If you do become a victim of a car accident scam, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney immediately. Hopefully, though, this is a situation you never have to deal with. Being informed about auto scams will significantly increase your chances of evading them entirely.