Getting in a collision with another vehicle can have many causes. It could be caused by a momentary error in judgment on the part of either or both drivers or a problem such as potholes, slick roads or bright sunlight. However, in some cases, a car accident isn’t really an accident at all but is a staged car accident caused by a driver who deliberately causes a wreck in an effort to scam an insurance company out of money.
How to Spot Someone Trying to Create a Staged Car Accident
It may be hard to believe that anyone would risk their lives, the lives of their passengers or the lives of total strangers just to attempt to obtain a fraudulent settlement. Insurance fraud is big business, and it causes premiums to go up for all insured drivers. There are certain things to watch out for that may indicate a driver is trying to deliberately cause an accident.
Making Frequent Abrupt Stops
Since a rear-end collision is usually thought to be the fault of the driver in the rear, when you see a driver in front of you repeatedly hitting their brakes or making unexpectedly sudden stops, they may be trying to cause a collision. If you end up hitting them, they may try to claim a whiplash injury in order to obtain a settlement, since whiplash won’t show up on an X-ray.
A driver who is trying to stage a rear-end collision may also pull up behind you, swerve around you and pull in front of you. Once they are in front of you, they may slam on the brakes. If you do end up hitting them, make sure you let the police know that this is how the accident happened.
Enticing You to Get in Front of Them
Drivers attempting to stage a crash may make a waving gesture to you at an intersection to let you know that you can go, then run into you and deny that they told you to go. The problem with this type of staged car accident is that it becomes their word against yours, and they usually have someone else ready to say the accident was your fault.
Scammers sometimes work with other scammers, so that if one driver motions for you to proceed through an intersection, another driver may come out of nowhere and hit you. Both drivers will claim you were the at-fault driver.
Multiple Witnesses or Multiple Injuries
Those who deliberately stage accidents usually don’t work alone. While one person drives, multiple people may suddenly appear on the scene and jump into the other vehicle. These people may say that they were in the car that was hit and all of them claim that they were injured. Claims of multiple injuries are especially suspicious when you were traveling at a low rate of speed and very little damage was done to their vehicle.
Planned witnesses aren’t uncommon in a staged car accident. When one or more witnesses appear out of nowhere and back up everything the other driver says, they may be phony witnesses who were part of the staged car accident all along. It’s even more suspicious if anyone on the scene attempts to get you to see a particular doctor or lawyer.
Getting Legal Advice
If you were injured in a California accident caused by a negligent driver and you think it may have been a staged car accident, it’s a good idea to get help. At Megeredchian Law Firm, we are experts in the field of personal injury law. We can help you gather evidence and answer any questions you may have. Fill out the contact form on this page in order to get in touch with us and to set up a free case evaluation.