Car accidents are a serious problem that claims around 1.3 million lives each year. Even more, if a crash doesn’t end with victims, there are still damages and injuries we need to consider.
Sadly, besides the usual vehicle traffic risks (dangerous roads, careless drivers, unfavorable weather conditions, and more), drivers also have to be watchful for scammers who want to make a quick buck on your car insurance policy. It is estimated that the car insurance industry pays around $30 billion to fraudsters.
Fraudsters often target women or senior citizens driving alone (they are seen as less confrontational) and focus on new or rented vehicles since they are usually better insured. They also operate in crowded areas inhabited by wealthy citizens because criminals think they will have better insurance companies.
Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t become the target of a car accident scam, so it’s essential to know how to react. Regardless of the situation, it’s important to stay calm and consult a lawyer specialized in car accidents. Scammers are not happy to deal with a law professional as their schemes are easily debunked under the watchful eye of an attorney.
Of course, it’s never pleasant to deal with this kind of scenario. Therefore, here are the most common car insurance scams to pay attention to.
1. Merging Into Traffic from a Curb
Whenever you want to pull away from a curb and merge into traffic, you must also pay attention to vehicles coming from the left lane, as one of them may deliberately crash into you. The scheme is specially designed for this situation since the victim driver will be focused on their side of the road and pay less attention to the left lane (where the vehicle driven by criminals usually is).
When this happens, the scammer will claim you pulled into traffic when it wasn’t clear and claim injuries.
2. Taking a Left Turn
As you stop and prepare to make a left turn (in an intersection), a driver coming from the opposite direction will slow down to a stop and signal you to make the turn. As you make your move, the driver will suddenly move forward and block you. As you slam the brakes, another vehicle will crash into the side of your car while the first driver vanishes.
Under these circumstances, it looks like you pulled into traffic without waiting for the road to clear.
3. Taking a Right Turn
You may think that taking a right turn is one of the safest maneuvers, but scammers found a way to profit from this one as well. In this case, a vehicle will run into the back-left side of your car as you start to make the turn and will claim you pulled into traffic without waiting for the road to clear.
4. Rear-Ending Another Vehicle
It happens. The vehicle in front unexpectedly hits the brakes, and you don’t have enough time to react. As a result, you rear-end the car in front, making you responsible for their damage and injuries.
However, this can also be staged. The scam involves two vehicles, both in front of you. The first two vehicles pull in front of each other, placing themselves in front of the victim’s car. The first vehicle will hit the brakes at a certain point, causing the second one to brake suddenly and the victim to crash into the second vehicle. As this happens, the first vehicle drives away, making it look like the victim was careless.
In summary, it’s best to practice defensive driving to avoid any unpleasant scenarios whenever you are in traffic. Of course, there are other scams involving drivers and cars, but these are the most common ones and the ones that are easiest to stage.
Car Insurance Scams: How To Report
Warn your family and online friends about these car insurance scams by sharing this article on social media. You can also officially do it to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
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