Staged Crashes on the Rise in Southern California
Get help proving the facts in a car accident claim by hiring Fernando D. Vargas
According to the Auto Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, staged car crashes are on the rise in our area. These crashes are deliberately caused by individuals who want an opportunity to commit insurance fraud. If you are injured in one of the accidents, the other party’s lies could complicate the situation and make it more difficult for you to secure the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Common Staged Crash Scams
Typically, a staged crash begins with the perpetrator making some sort of move that causes you to have an accident. One common method is the “swoop and squat,” which involves a driver cutting you off and then stopping suddenly so you really cannot avoid rear-ending them. Sometimes the driver even has an accomplice in another vehicle who will box you in to make sure you cannot swerve out of your lane to avoid the rear-end accident. There could even be an additional accomplice on the sidewalk waiting to serve as a witness to the accident—from the perpetrator’s perspective of course.
Once the crooks have caused the accident, they can then try to make money with various types of scams:
- They may exaggerate their injuries to get insurance money
- They may file claims for passengers that were not really present
- They may have an accomplice in a tow truck show up and tow your vehicle for an exorbitant fee
- They may have an accomplice refer you to a doctor, lawyer, or auto shop that will inflate your damages for their own gain
How to Avoid Being a Victim of Fraud in a Staged Accident
While you may not be able to avoid the accident itself, there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud following a staged accident:
- Always document the scene of the accident. Take photos with your phone, preferably before the cars have been moved from the positions they were in immediately after the accident.
- Get names, ID and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident—including passengers.
- Look for all the witnesses you can find—not just the ones that approach you.
- Be wary of any tow truck that arrives before you have called for help. Do not let them tow your car without a clear agreement as to the cost.
- Do your own research to find your doctor, lawyer, and auto repair shop.
- Call the police to report the accident.
Remember, you never have to go through the aftermath of a car accident on your own. You can call Fernando D. Vargas immediately after the accident for expert help in communicating with the insurance companies to make sure the real facts about the accident come to light and you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. You can reach us at 909-982-0707 to request a free initial consultation.