Car accident fraud is a crime, and even in relatively minor incidents with little vehicle damage and no injuries, con artists can walk away with substantial settlements. To prevent yourself from becoming a target of car accident fraud, it's important that all drivers know some common tactics fraudsters utilize. Below, four of these tactics are discussed in more detail.
How to Spot Car Accident Fraud
In a sideswipe, the fraudster will often pull up beside a driver so the two cars are parallel in dual left-turn lanes. Upon turning, they will ram into the other driver's side. They will claim that the other driver drifted over into their lane, which can be hard to disprove and lead the other driver to falsely believe they’re at fault.
2. A Suspicious Helper
Questionable helpers may be working in conjunction with the fraudulent driver. These people often masquerade as good Samaritans who come to your aid immediately after the initial crash. They try to talk you into seeing a specific doctor or going to a specific auto shop for repairs, which can lead to fraudulent services and bogus insurance claims.
3. A Sudden Stop
If you rear-end somebody—even if they slam on their brakes out of nowhere—you may be the one who ends up legally liable. In a sudden or panic stop-staged accident, the driver is typically in a vehicle with at least one other person, who keeps an eye on the vehicle driver behind them. When that other driver is distracted or even looks away for a split-second, the "lookout" alerts the driver in the front vehicle, and they slam on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision.
4. Swoop & Squat
A swoop and squat is a variation on a sudden stop. It involves a car suddenly changing lanes in front of you, then slamming on the brakes. In both swoop and squats and sudden stops, the targets tend to file massive claims for vehicle damage and serious injuries.
If you're in a car accident, always call the police to the scene and contact an attorney immediately—no matter how minor the crash may seem. Taking these precautions can give you a certain amount of legal protection in the event you were targeted by a fraudster. The lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C., have been serving residents in the Greater Boston area since 1989. In addition to auto accidents and personal injuries, they represent workers' compensation, criminal and family law, and estate planning cases. Call (617) 778-1000 to schedule a free consultation or visit them online to browse their practice areas.