Though rare, car accident scams can occur – and there is virtually no sure-fire way to avoid being a victim of this scam. The best protection is to be aware that accident scams exist, and to try to protect yourself in the aftermath.
What is an Accident Scam?
An accident scam is when an individual or a group of people work together to ensure that a car accident occurs, and that another unsuspecting driver is seemingly at fault. Then the scammers may try to settle for cash on the spot, or they will try to get as much money as possible from your insurance company.
For example, a car may pull up next to you on a two-lane road, so that you cannot switch lanes, and then another car in front of you suddenly, and for no apparent reason, slams on the brakes so that you rear-end that driver.
Other scenarios include when you are at a 4-way stop sign, and a driver waves for you to go into the intersection. Then that driver proceeds to hit you, so that it looks like you ran a stop-sign. Or when turning from a dual-turn lane, the driver in the outer-lane side-swipes you, and then produces witnesses to blame you.
Sometimes other people will jump into the cars involved in the accidents and claim injuries. Additionally, witnesses may appear out of nowhere to corroborate the driver’s phony story.
In some instances, the scammers may try to steer their victims toward certain medical clinics or attorneys. They may encourage you not to call the police or to settle on the spot with cash, instead of contacting your insurance company.
If a tow truck suddenly arrives before you called anyone for assistance, do not accept the service, since this may be part of the scam, and you may be charged exorbitant fees.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of an Accident Scam
If you suspect that you have been a victim of an accident scam or not, be sure to take copious notes at the accident scene. Call the police and request a police report. Additionally, make sure you that you personally collect the driver’s license number, vehicle registration number, and car insurance information from each witness or person involved in the accident. Obtain phone numbers, names and address of those involved.
Additionally, record a physical description of the drivers and passengers, including approximate height and weight. If you are able to get pictures of the people involved in the accident, this is useful as well. If it is an organized ring of people staging car accidents, the police will need all of this information to better assist them.
It is a good idea to keep paper and pens in your car at all times, and to also maintain a camera in the car, or to ensure that your cell phone camera is always charged when driving. Additionally, seek medical attention from your own doctor immediately if you have been injured.
Seeking out services from the referrals from the potential scammers may only lead to further scams, which could wind up costing you more money than is reasonable.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Can Assist If You Have Been a Victim of a Car Accident Scam
If you or a loved one suspects that they have been a victim of a car accident and insurance fraud scheme, contact the experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC for a free initial consultation. We can be reached at 302-888-1221 or you can contact us online.
We serve clients throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.