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Staged Car Crashes: What are They and How to Handle Such Scams

Intentionally staged road accidents are a reality, and those who fell into this trap know this experience is one of the worst you can get as a driver.
Toy Cars Crash 1 photo
Don't get us wrong, a car accident is, by definition, a horrible event, but also expensive and traumatic. However, when this was triggered on purpose, just to make insurance companies pay out high claims, things get even worse.

As you can imagine, the pe these accidents only want to earn money by submitting bogus claims, and a staged car crash is a perfect cover for that to happen. It won't be nominated for an Oscar, but it will bring hefty amounts of money to the fraud behind it.

So what we're trying to to with this guide is to help you identify, prevent and better manage such a situation. For that to happen, before taking out the tips and advice kit, you must be able to distinguish between some possible scams that can be used against you in traffic. Therefore, we'll start by introducing and describing each one of them, and hopefully, you'll see the danger coming and avoid it in time.Types of common scams
1. The T-Bone Accident

In a T-bone accident, the perpetrator will patiently wait for you to enter the intersection and once you've done that, he'll step on it and hit you. But that's not the only chapter. After the impact, when the police arrive, his accomplices (also know as "shady helpers") will declare they saw the whole thing, and you were the one who disregarded the stop sign or traffic light.2. The Drive Down
This method is similar to the T-Bone Accident in the sense that it implies you were coming from a side road, trying to merge into traffic. As you approach the main road, the fraud driver waves at you and slows down, as if he's letting you enter the car flow. But he's not, and he ends up hitting you. Obviously, he'll blame you for the incident. Also, this method can be also put into practice in car parking areas.3. The Wave
Although there's a wave involved in the Drive Down method, we've placed it in a separate category because it involves a different situation. For this one, the ill-intended driver will notice you want to change lanes and will encourage you to do that by waving. As you maneuver your car, he or she will accelerate and smash into your car. Now, you can imagine who will take the blame for that, right?4. The Dual Turn Sideswipe
So, let's say you're driving on the inner lane of a dual intersection. When presented with the opportunity, the crook in the other car will simply ram into you, even if you went out of your lane by only a few centimeters. Another method will see him or her slightly entering your path, and then smashing the car into yours. Again, "shady helpers" might be present to support his or her version of the events, dismissing yours.5. The Swoop and Squat / Brake Slam
The Swoop and Squat scam comes into focus when a suspect car swoops in front of your for no reason, out of nowhere and then the driver hits the brakes hard, leaving you with no choice than to smash into the car's rear end. Often, those travelling in the car you just hit will complain about back or neck pains, followed by hefty injury claims because allegedly, you didn't keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

As for the Brake Slam, we're basically talking about the same principle, only this time the car is already in front of you before the crook jumps on the brake pedal.

Alright, so now that you know what kind of scenarios crooks are willing to use to get money from you and your insurance company, let's focus on what can be done to prevent them or at least ease the consequences.Tips on how to avoid or handle a crash scam
1. This should go without saying, but make sure you stay alert every time you travel from A to B, especially in busy urban areas and so on. If you spot any hazard or a surge in traffic, slow down and stay back.

2. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you, and here you can guide by using this rule of the thumb: you should maintain at least a two-second gap behind any vehicle. This will give more time to react and will make your attention more efficient.

3. Also, be careful of other drivers tailgating behind you, as these individuals might be working with the crooks by trying to get you attention and focus from what's happening around your car.

4. Let's say you were involved in a collision, but you feel it's because of a crook, and you're not guilty. The best thing you can do is call the police immediately and under any circumstances don't try to take the matter into your own hands.

5. You can try, and we strongly advise you to collect as many details as possible on the other driver. Taking photos is also a good idea - especially of the damage to the car and the crash scene - since you can diminish any bogus injury claims being made after the accident by proving the whole thing was staged.

Make sure you get the driver license number, vehicle registration and car insurance info, along with the general weight and height as well as the ethnicity of the other driver and his passengers, if that happens to be the case.

6. A dashboard camera is always welcome, considering recorded images of the crash - if relevant - can be used in court to counter-attack the claims initiated by the fake victims.

7. After the accident, see medical and legal providers whom you trust. Also, if the stranger tries to talk you into repairing your can into a shady body shop, contact your state insurance fraud bureau.

As a last note, we'd like to add that while this guide won't guarantee complete protection in front of staged car accidents, we hope once you've finished reading it you'll be better prepared and more capable of avoiding or properly handling such an event.


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