A crime known as car accident fraud is on the rise, so much so that the Los Angeles County police are beginning to crack down on staged accidents, backed by a $6.9 million grant. There are many possible aspects in car accident fraud that benefit the ones responsible, but there are ways for injury victims to take action against drivers responsible for staged accidents, including hiring a licensed car accident attorney to help recover compensation.
Staging Car Crashes
Car accident fraud occurs when someone stages an accident in order to gain a financial advantage resulting from it. They can make money through false insurance claims from insurance companies, even hiring crooked doctors to exaggerate injuries in medical records or lawyers to file fake lawsuits. Many cases have even involved fake witnesses who testify in favor of the accident planner.
Con artists partaking in staged accidents may hit unwitting victims’ vehicles when crashing into another accomplice’s vehicle, causing injury and damage, but there are many variations of car accident fraud. Car accident lawyers can help victims determine if fraud is behind even the more complex cases.
What to Do as a Victim
If you are a victim of a staged car accident, the chances are you won’t know suspect it’s staged at first, so you should take the same steps you would after a valid accident. Take notes of each driver’s ID and vehicle, gathering information such as license plate numbers, vehicle registration and insurance information. Never settle an accident at the site with money—instead, report to your insurance company and mention any suspicions you have about fraud.
If a witness or other person involved in the accident hasn’t contacted the police, you should do so right away. When filing a police report, make sure to quickly cover all of the details of the accident, which will help prevent con artists from damaging their vehicles further in order to make more money.
If you believe you are the victim of a fraudulent car accident, you can talk with a car accident attorney to help you recover compensation for damages and injuries, as well as to prevent con artists from committing future fraud.