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28 Jan

Avoiding Auto Accident Scams

Staged Car Accidents Scams Can Happen to You

With anything that has insurance involved in making large payouts, there will surely be some kind of scam cooked up to take advantage of this opportunity. These insurance scams are typically well thought out and carefully orchestrated in order to take advantage of drivers like you.

Don’t let yourself become a victim of the fraudulent personal injury claims of scam artists. Protect yourself by learning how to identify, avoid, and deal with staged car accidents.  

What is a Staged Car Accident?

A staged car accident is when someone causes a car accident on purpose in order to make a personal injury claim on a fake injury so that they can collect an insurance company paid settlement. They get a check for a made up case of whiplash while your insurance premium goes through the roof. 

Staged accidents are among the most common kinds of insurance scams in the country. The others being damage fraud and faked car theft. The investigation, damage, and payouts that these scams cause cost the country millions every year. 

What is terrifying is just how dangerous one of these scams can be. It doesn’t take much for an attempted fender bender scam to turn into a full blown high impact crash with actual injuries or even fatalities. 

Types of Staged Car Accidents

Scammers will attempt to utilize these strategies in order to cause a collision that they can claim will result in a faked injury.


The scammer waits at an intersection for someone to drive past them. They then accelerate in order to hit the side of their mark’s car. There will typically be a second member of the scam that will be watching from somewhere that will act as a witness. In the aftermath of the collision, the two scammers will claim that you ran a light or a stop sign and therefore make you liable for their faked injury. 

A Friendly Wave or Drive Down

A scammer will try to find someone attempting to switch lanes or merge and will wave their hand to indicate that they are going to let them in. When you try to switch lanes, the scammer will speed up and hit you, causing a collision. In the aftermath the scammer will claim that there was no hand gesture and that you simply changed lanes recklessly and hit them. 

Dual Turn Sideswipe

In a dual turn lane, a scammer will wait in the outer lane for someone to drive ever so slightly out of the marked lane so they can hit them. They may even go so far as to outright drive into your lane in order to secure a collision which they will claim is your fault. 

Brake Slam

The scammer will drive in front of someone and slam on their brakes in order to cause a collision with the car behind them. They will blame you for rear ending them and you will most likely be found to be the at fault driver in this situation. 

Swoop and Stop

A team of scammers consisting of two cars will place themselves in front and next to your car. The front car will proceed to stop and the scammer driving parallel to you will block you from swerving out of the way and force an accident. The liability will fall on you for swerving and driving recklessly.  

How to Avoid Staged Car Accident Scams

Maintain a safe distance from cars to best avoid auto accidents. The best thing you can do is not even give scammers an opening they can exploit and start a collision. By maintaining a healthy amount of space between you and any vehicles, you will eliminate yourself as a victim in most of these situations.

Call the Police if You Suspect Something Wrong

If you get in an accident it is always a wise choice to get a police report that can be referenced later. It will also be useful for a personal injury attorney to have and use in your case should it come to it. 

You can also dial 911 and describe any cars that have tried to employ any of these scams on you. Every detail helps police identify these scammers and get them off the roadways, endangering other drivers. 

You may get lucky and a squad car might be in the vicinity to show up and help foil a car accident scam. Unfortunately this is not always the case. 

Take Pictures

Should police not make it to you in time, any pictures and descriptions of a suspected car accident scam can help aid your case later. Remember that if you are able to, the taking of a video with your phone not only gives you a more clear picture of any scamming events that have transpired, but they also consist of thousands of pictures that can be examined later. 


Having a witness in the event of a car accident scam can prove invaluable. If possible enlist any bystanders or anyone that happens to be nearby. Get their contact information as their account of how events unfolded could help you greatly later on down the road. 

You Can Fight Car Accident Scams with a Counter Personal Injury Claim

Remember that it is possible to fight against these kinds of scams. You do not have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s scam as long as you are vigilant and follow  the recommended steps so that a personal injury lawyer can file a counterclaim and possibly save you the damage to our insurance premium and even get you compensated for any damages you received. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident or even suspect that you may be the victim of a staged car accident, do not hesitate to contact Tompkins Selph & Associates for a free legal consultation. Our skilled attorneys have the experience needed to assist you in holding any liable parties responsible and getting you the settlement you deserve. Call us today at (614)-453-0971.

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