Unfortunately, staged crashes happen all the time. Scammers purposely cause collisions in the hopes of filing a fraudulent insurance claim and holding you legally responsible. They recover monetary damages while you have to pay to repair the damage to your vehicle and deal with increased auto insurance premiums.
If you don’t know what to do if you are a victim of a staged auto accident in Georgia, we will share some tips below.
Steps to Take After a Staged Traffic Accident
If you believe you were a victim of scammers staging a traffic collision, take the following steps:
It may seem immediately obvious to you that the other parties involved in your crash are scammers and that the accident was staged. However, it is best not to accuse them to their faces or otherwise escalate the incident for your own safety and well-being. Get their contact and insurance information as you would in any type of collision, but do not discuss the crash, its cause, or any other details.
Call the Police
Scammers often try to avoid contact with the police. They want you to try to settle the crash case without a police report, with you offering cash or agreeing you were at fault and them filing a claim based on your insurance. They may try to convince you that you caused the crash and that the consequences could be dire if you call the police.
After any significant crash, your best course of action is to dial 911 and have law enforcement come to the scene. If safely possible, tell the 911 dispatcher that you believe you were a victim of a staged car crash. They will pass this information on to the responding officers, who can then look for evidence.
Document the Damage
If possible, you want to document the scene as best you can. This is much easier today than in the past, thanks to smartphones. Use your camera to take pictures and video of the area, damage to all vehicles, the weather, any road hazards, other vehicles involved, and anything else that seems important to you.
It is important to document the tag numbers of any additionally involved vehicles if they are still on the scene. Staged collisions often involve accomplices.
Get Medical Care
Unless you need to go to an emergency department via ambulance, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. This should be on the same day as the crash, if possible. Even if you are just sore and believe you only have bumps and bruises, it is a good idea to get cleared of any significant injuries. Some take hours or days to develop.
This also ties your injuries to the collision. This may be important later if you do have injuries and need to seek compensation to pay for your medical care.
Speak to an Attorney
Most Atlanta car accident attorneys provide free consultations for accident victims. You can speak with one at no cost and no obligation to move forward with hiring them. Of course, you may choose to hire them. Proving an accident was staged, and you were actually the victim is not an easy task. Having knowledgeable lawyers on your side can make it much easier.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Common Types of Staged Accidents
Scammers find creative ways to try to get the money they need by taking advantage of the auto insurance system in Georgia. While staged crashes can occur in many ways, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) considers some of the most common to include:
The Swoop and Squat
The swoop and squat is one of the most prevalent ways scammers stage auto accidents. It requires at least two vehicles. One—the squatter—will pull out in front of you at a slow speed while a second—the swooper—swoops in front of them, forcing the squatter to slam on their brakes. This commonly leads to a rear-end collision with you in the rear, looking responsible.
The swooper may leave the scene, and the squatter will deny they were ever there. Alternatively, they may remain, and it becomes the word of the other two drivers against your own.
The Drive Down
The drive down begins innocently enough. You are trying to merge or turn, and another driver waves you over. But then they accelerate, hitting you. When the police arrive or the insurance company questions them, they will deny ever waving you into their lane.
Scammers may have an accomplice waiting nearby to serve as a witness to the crash. This is common in intersection accidents. In these crashes, it can be hard to prove who had a green light or whose turn it was to go at a stop sign. With a witness to corroborate their story, the scammer can create a two-against-one dynamic for the police and the insurance companies.
An Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer May Be Able to Help
You can speak with the team from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers about your Atlanta car accident today for free. We want to help you get a better understanding of your rights and how you may be able to fight for compensation against scammers or others in a case like this. Reach out to us today to get started for free.