How to Avoid a Staged Accident
While you may think that car accident fraud is something that the insurance companies make up in order to justify higher premiums, this is actually a very real concept that occurs more often than you probably think. Unfortunately, there are people who are looking to scam drivers that are just trying to make it safely to their destination – drivers like you.
What is a Staged Accident?
An accident is considered to have been “staged” whenever someone causes a car accident with the sole intention of being able to pursue a personal injury claim. The motivation behind this intention is being able to obtain an insurance company payout. Unsurprisingly, staged accidents tend to be especially common in states with ‘no-fault’ statutes like Florida, where a supposedly injured person can make a claim to their own insurance company through their PIP policy.
How Can You Help Avoid a Staged Accident?
First, understand the risk factors before you hit the road.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are known risk factors for staged accidents which include:
- Driving a luxury model or new vehicle which are perceived as having higher insurance limits.
- Being an older or female driver which may be perceived as easier to manipulate.
- Driving what is obviously a work vehicle which may attract con artists who believe there would be a higher payout from a commercial policy.
Second, understand what you should do any time you are driving.
- Do not tailgate. Always leave significant space between your car and the car in front of you.
- Avoid distracted driving. Try not to text, talk on the phone, or use social media while you are driving.
- Do not drink and drive. In addition to possible criminal consequences, even what you consider a small amount can slow your ability to react to other another driver’s deliberate attempt to cause an accident.
What You Should Do If You Suspect Accident Fraud
If you are involved in a car accident that you suspect was staged:
- Do not admit fault
- Decline any on the spot cash settlement offers
- Call the police and obtain a police report
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident
- Record the contact information of any witnesses
- Obtain any needed emergency care
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible
You Don’t Have to Settle For Paying For the Consequences of Someone Else’s Scam. Allow Us to Help.
Despite your best efforts to remain safe while driving from one destination to another, you can still be injured in an accident resulting from someone else’s scam. But if you act quickly, you can minimize damage to your insurance premium and may even recover compensation for any injuries you incurred during the staged accident. Contact the experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys of The Pendas Law Firm today and we will help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Miami, Daytona, Jacksonville, and Bradenton areas.