In some states, the level of car insurance fraud is reaching epidemic proportions and this is forcing up the auto insurance quotes for all. Nationally, it’s estimated several billion dollars is being stolen from insurance companies by staged accidents supported by paid witnesses, and corrupt attorneys and medical advisors. No matter how much taxpayers money is diverted from budgets in deficit to law enforcement, it all comes down to the insurance companies to report every suspected case of fraud to the police for investigation, and for all innocent drivers to take a few simple steps whenever they are caught in an accident.
We need to begin with a general word of reassurance. The vast majority of collisions are genuine accidents but some criminal gangs are now using staged crashes as a way of extracting money from the insurance industry. In the safe version, vehicles driven by gang members will collide with each other at a high visibility location where there are many independent witnesses. But some involve innocent motorists who are put in situations where rear-end collisions are likely to occur, e.g. a spotter in a gang vehicle watches for the driver behind to look away from the road and tells his driver to make a panic stop.
There’s an assumption you’re the driver at fault if you hit the vehicle in front of you. Don’t tailgate. Always drive sufficiently far behind the vehicle in front you can always stop in an emergency. More importantly, if you’re caught in an accident, call the local law enforcement to the scene and immediately begin documenting the damage to the vehicles and who is in the other vehicle. If anyone tries to direct you to an attorney or doctor, this is suspicious. Should a tow truck appear on the scene without anyone apparently calling it for you, do not allow it to take your vehicle. If an attorney or doctor suggests you make a claim even though you are not injured, this is a crime and should be reported to the police. Indeed notifying the police and your own insurers is the sure way to expose fraud and keep everyone’s auto insurance quotes low.