There’s a type of insurance fraud that is becoming more and more common as a crime in America. It’s called “staging an accident”. These accidents happen every day. Usually, they are small, low impact accidents. Someone backs into you at the grocery store parking lot. A car rear end’s you at the stoplight. The other driver jumps out, apologizes profusely, and exchanges information about the accident and insurance with you. The accident is reported to the police and the insurance companies are notified. Nothing may seem out of place, but many of those everyday fender benders could be a setup!
But how can you know? Well, the answer is that it is very hard for you to know if your accident was staged or not. Staged car accidents still cause damages and injuries, so as far as the “victim” of the staging is concerned, an accident has occurred. In one horrific case, an elderly lady was hit by another car during a staged accident, causing her to veer into a tree where she crashed and died. The consequences of staged accidents can be terrible both for the victims and the perpetrators.
In a three year crackdown, a rash of accidents in Florida has led to charges in 33 cases of a staged car accident which were then used to fraudulently make claims to insurance companies. Those staging the accident are not the only ones involved in the fraud. Networks of clinics are usually involved in making a fraudulent insurance claim for unnecessary medical services. For victims of a staged crime, it can be nearly impossible to tell the difference.
That is why it is so important for people to report any accident they have to their insurance company right away. If you have questions about your accident or damages to you, your vehicle, or passengers it is recommended that you seek legal advice. The experienced attorneys at the Solberg Stewart Miller law firm in Fargo, ND are leaders in litigation regarding auto accidents.