Tips to Sue Someone About a Staged Car Accident
Staged car accidents are unexpected and unfair in many cases we come across in South Florida. Not only they stress you out, but it takes a lot of your time and money to get out of it. Unfortunately, staged car accidents are a problem every day in Florida.
What’s a Staged Car Accident?
A staged crash is when drivers maneuver unsuspecting motorists into crashes to make false insurance claims. The cars generally suffer little damage from the great demand that is then fraudulently submitted.
Staged accidents will usually involve at least one of the following:
- a faked crash
- faked injuries
- fake accident reports
- fake witnesses, or
- fake victims.
Whatever the details, perpetrators of staged car accidents try to use them as a basis for filing car insurance claims (either through their insurer or with the insurer of the unsuspecting victim) or even a personal injury lawsuit to make money.
What to do if someone Staged a Car Accident?
Firstly, you need to collect as much evidence as possible.
Step 1: One of the prior things to do after an accident is to call the police, even if there is a minor accident or minor damage. If the fuss is not big, the police won’t do anything, still, it will help you hold a record of calling them. Don’t get convinced by the other driver to handle the accident without calling the police. If the other driver plans to use you for an insurance fraud scheme, calling the police may be enough to make them back off.
Step 2: Make a note of what happens at the scene, how the incident occurred, how fast each vehicle was traveling at the time of impact, and the severity of the impact. Excited utterances like at the accident scene, like when the claimant says, “I’m all right,” or “I’m not hurt,” or like I’m sorry, I was going too fast,” or “I didn’t see you,” or anything else that’s in your favor such statements help you out either to sue a case or to defend yourself.
Step 3: Gather witness statements and ask the other driver and passengers if they saw the incident. They might be willing to help you, but don’t forget to get their contact information.
Step 4: Contact your insurance company as early as possible, right after the accident, no matter how minor the damage or accident is. Not only is it a good idea to call your insurance company, but it’s also your obligation.
Insurance Fraud Charges for a Staged Car Accident
As per Florida Statutes 817.234, the violation of the rules can lead to insurance fraud, a felony in the State of Florida. Apart from the charges for the above, other charges may also apply. One of them is aggravated assault under Florida Statutes 784.021, which may result in both criminal and civil penalties for those responsible.
How to sue someone for a Staged Car Accident?
It’s best to talk to a lawyer who specializes in car accidents before deciding to file a lawsuit. Lawyers can also advise you on the pros and cons of filing a suit or seeking a settlement based on the unique details of your case.
Decide Whether to Sue or Settle
Attorneys specializing in car accidents can use their expertise to help you decide on the best direction for your case. An experienced lawyer may advise you that a lawsuit is the best way to recover your losses. They may suggest an effective way to settle than to go to court.
If you suspect that another person’s car accident injury claim is baseless (or that they’re downright faking an injury), you can take action.
However, if the situation is reversed, you are proven guilty. You can hire an investigator to prove a fraudulent car accident injury claim, or you can talk to a car accident lawyer if the other driver is suing you.
False Claims Hurt Everyone
False claims hurt everyone by causing higher insurance premiums and making claims adjusters suspicious of every personal injury claim. Your car insurance company must defend you against all claims, but you have to do your part. This includes recognizing the signs of a scam and collecting evidence to use against fraudsters.
Let your insurance company deal with the potentially fraudulent claim. Major insurance carriers have a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for handling suspicious claims. Evidence of fraud will be turned over to state or federal authorities for further investigation and prosecution.
Large-scale “hard” fraud is a federal crime that the FBI and other federal agencies will investigate. A conviction for federal crimes is punishable by incarceration in federal prison.
Common Fake Accident Scams are:
- Drive Down
- Panic Stop
- Swoop and Squat
- Phony Pedestrian Accidents
- Phantom Passengers
- Side Swipe
Contact The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato
Be aware of these scams before navigating cars on the road. However, whoever puts such an act on the street, sometimes has to pay a heavy price for fraud cases.
If you need help with fraud cases or got involved in a staged accident, seek expert advice from certified Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers. Feel free to contact our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys today.