How to Tell if an Accident Has Been StagedJacksonville Accident News
There is nothing more terrifying as a Florida driver than being in a car accident. If having to miss work due to injuries and stacking medical bills weren’t already enough added stress, there’s also the chance that your accident could have been staged. Car accident scams are a huge problem in the state of Florida and it’s not easy to be able to tell if your accident was staged or not. Don’t worry, not many people can. We at Sheftall Law have put together a small guide to help you determine if you’re being scammed and how to avoid an accident if you suspect that someone is trying to set you up.
What is a Car Accident Scam?
All over the United States, people are purposely causing accidents while making it look like the victim was at fault. These criminals are then able to file claims against the victim’s insurance company for large lump sums of money. There are several types of car accident scams that can occur, including:
- Pre-Damage- Scammers could cars already damaged. You wouldn’t have to hit them, and they would still accuse you of damaging their vehicle.
- Staged Accident- Some scammers will wait until you’re distracted to slam on their brakes, hoping to make it look like that your inattention caused the car accident. In some cases, the scammer will fake an injury or have passengers in the vehicle fake injuries in order to attempt to get more money from your insurance company.
- Cash Demands- In some cases, the scammer will demand that you give them cash or they will take you to court because you “caused” the accident. They will sometimes have helpers to act as bystanders to make a scene and pressure you into paying.
- The Blame Game- This scam is closely related to the staged accident. The scammer in this scenario will wave you ahead to make a left turn, then intentionally crash into your vehicle. If confronted, the scammer will state that they never waved you on and will blame you for the accident.
When you’re a victim of a car accident scam, the results can be extra stressful. Not only are scammers able to file a claim to your car insurance, but there is also the fact that because of these scammers, your car insurance rates could skyrocket. Learning how to tell if you’re being scammed can help you in the long run and you can have your accident investigated if you suspect that you’re being scammed.
Ways to Tell if You’re Being Scammed
Car accident scams are a serious crime. Scammers will often target women or older adults who are driving alone because they’re less likely to argue in an accident situation. But there are ways that you can tell if the other driver is a scammer. The signs of a staged car accident scam can include:
- Being Pressured Into Going To Specific Doctors Or Attorneys- After an accident, a scammer or bystanders who are working with the scammer could try to pressure you into seeing a specific doctor or attorney. Don’t be fooled, these same doctors and attorneys could possibly be illegitimate or working with the scammer to try to swindle you out of money.
- Fake Witnesses- Crime rings will work in groups. Scammers who cause an accident will all of a sudden have witnesses pop up out of nowhere and back their story up. This will leave you at a severe disadvantage in proving that your accident was a scam since the police will only go by what witnesses “saw.”
- Sudden Passengers- After an accident, scammers will have other people suddenly jump in the car and claim to be passengers. These “passengers” will start to complain about serious injuries. Be aware if there’s barely any damage to the other driver’s vehicle and people begin to complain about serious injuries.
If you’ve been in an accident and you feel like you’re being scammed, you’re going to need the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney. Your attorney can perform an individual investigation on your accident and help you fight insurance scammers to keep them from succeeding.
Protecting Yourself From Being At Risk Of Scams
As mentioned above, car accident scams are a common problem in the state of Florida and across the United States. These car accident scams aren’t always easy to detect by victims, and it’s easy to become a victim to scammers if you’re not careful. There are ways you can help protect yourself from being at risk of a scam.
- Defensive Driving- Plan your moves one step ahead of the game. Keep an eye out for drivers who are driving strangely and steer clear. Defensive driving is used to reduce the risk of a car accident.
- Read Everything Carefully- Don’t sign any paperwork related to your accident until you read everything thoroughly. If you have any questions, you can always have your attorney go over it with you so you fully understand what you’re signing.
- Report All Accidents- Never allow anyone to talk you out of reporting an accident. Always exchange insurance information with the other driver, just in case.
- Work With An Attorney- If something about your accident doesn’t seem right, your attorney can ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve and are not wrongfully held liable for the accident.
Speaking With a Skilled Florida Car Accident Attorney
Have you or someone you love been in an accident with a potential scammer? Our dedicated and compassionate auto accident lawyers at Sheftall Law are here to answer any questions you may have about your unique situation and will help you determine if you have a claim. We understand the complexities of car accident scams and with decades of combined experience, you can be confident in our team’s ability to advocate for your needs and rights, and we will ensure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve. Call us today at (904)-638-7712 or visit sheftalllaw.com to schedule your free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation.