If you’ve never heard of a staged accident, it’s a collision that has been planned by criminals. It usually involves a couple different drivers that trap an unsuspecting driver into a situation that creates an accident. In one of the culprit’s cars, there are usually several people. Once the innocent driver’s car hits that vehicle, each person files a claim with the insurance company. This causes everybody’s rates to increase and it can also be dangerous. Here are some tips from your car accident lawyer Centralia, IL professional to help avoid being a victim of one of these schemes.
Avoid Being Distracted
One of the things that these scam artists are looking for is a distracted driver. When a driver is distracted, they are more likely to be targeted by scam artists. When you are talking on your cell phone or doing other things while you’re driving, you become vulnerable and more likely to be a victim of one of these dangerous scams. Stay off your cell phone and be an alert driver so you don’t get hit by a driver who is looking to defraud the insurance company.
Keep a Safe Distance
One of the reasons that people become victims of staged accidents is because they don’t keep a safe distance between their car and the cars around them. One of the most common staged accidents – the swoop and squat – involves one driver getting in front of you and suddenly slamming on their brakes. If you aren’t keeping a proper distance, you will slam into them and you will likely be deemed at fault for the damages.
Get a Police Report
When someone stages an accident, they will probably try to discourage you from calling the police. But don’t let that happen. Getting a police report is essential for your protection. A police report will have details of the accident which makes it more difficult for the scam artists to do more damage to their vehicle and inflate their claim against your insurance company.
Take a Lot of Pictures
One of the things the scam artists will do is cause more damage to their vehicle after leaving the scene. They will say you caused the damage and then your insurance will be on the hook. But if you take a lot of pictures of the damage to your car and their car right away, you can show what damages were caused.
Avoid Advice from Bystanders
Some of these scams involve others who seem to be innocent bystanders, but they are likely part of the plan. They might offer advice like going to see a certain doctor or attorney. Don’t take advice from anyone at the scene because you don’t know if they are part of the scam or not. Simply find a trusted car accident lawyer Centralia, IL firm to see what your recourse is following the incident.