Automobile Accident Crime Prevention
Automobile accident crimes are specifically intended to involve a motorist – unaware they have been targeted – in an automobile accident for the purpose of getting the insurance company to pay for damages, and faked or exaggerated injuries. The idea is to place a motorist in a situation in which an accident cannot be avoided and then place the blame on them for the accident having occurred.
For example, a group of Orlando residents were arrested for their roles in an organized insurance fraud ring that staged auto accidents. The Florida Department of Financial Services reports that the suspects solicited people and told them they would receive $1,000 each if they participated in a fake auto accident. Some of these “traps” may involve one or more vehicles and two or more “victims” and even witnesses to corroborate the story that places responsibility for the crash or collision on the intended target.
There are several ways in which these staged accidents can happen. Here are just three scenarios on how automobile accident fraud can occur.
1. The Wave and Blame
In this scenario, which involves one other vehicle, the vehicle being driven by the victim is attempting to merge into another lane. The driver occupying this other lane waves at the victim driver, signaling that it is okay for him or her to go forward. During the merge, the driver in the other lane then slams into the victim vehicle and denies ever motioning to the victim driver. They will claim that the vehicle cut them off and left them no room or time to brake. They may have a witness in their car or one on the street who can validate their version of what happened.
2. The Brake and Blame
This can happen when the victim vehicle is making a right turn at an intersection. A vehicle quickly passes by the victim vehicle and steps on the brake as soon as the victim vehicle makes the turn, causing the victim to rear-end their car. In most instances, a car that rear-ends another vehicle will generally be found at fault for the accident, regardless of the circumstances.
3. The Intersection Trap
This scenario requires at least one or two planted witnesses, and occurs when the victim vehicle is crossing an intersection and a car accelerates and hits the victim vehicle on the side. The planted witnesses then claim that the victim driver has ran a red light or stop sign.
Make a Video Recording of the Incident
One way to protect against such fraudulent claims is to have a recording to show exactly what happened. By purchasing and installing a dashboard camera, such accidents can be recorded and victims can produce the evidence of the incident to the police and insurance company.
Regardless of what happens or who is at fault, it is always best to have an in-force auto insurance policy to cover any damages and injuries while driving a vehicle.