Jan 15 2023 |
How To Protect Yourself From A Staged Car Accident In Brampton
Insurance fraud is probably something that most people don’t think much about, but Ontario has an extensive insurance scam problem.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates that insurance fraud costs Ontarians $1.6 billion per year and It’s not just insurance companies that are paying this price. It’s estimated that for the average insurance premium, $236 per year covers insurance fraud costs.
There are various types of insurance fraud. Some involve fraudulent auto shops or health care service providers, and others involve fraudulent claims of damage or injury, but the most dangerous are staged car accidents, which put innocent people at risk of serious injury.
In this article, we are going to focus on staged car accidents in Brampton, go over tips for protecting yourself from becoming a victim, and tips for what to do if you do find yourself in a fraudulent crash.
If you think you have been a victim of a staged car accident, contact the police, report your suspicions to your insurance company, and seek consultation from a car accident lawyer.
What is a Staged Car Accident?
A staged car accident is a form of insurance fraud that involves intentionally setting up or tricking someone into getting into an at-fault accident. The scammers may work alone or with accomplices. Since they stage scenarios where the innocent driver is at fault, the scammers can make insurance claims without any consequences.
Fault in Ontario is determined using more than 40 sample scenarios that allocate total or partial fault to each party involved. There are some scenarios where you are almost always at fault, like when you rear-end another car, reversing accidents, or turning accidents.
Fraudsters exploit this by forcing innocent people into one of these scenarios, so they are deemed 100% at fault.
Common Types of Staged Car Accidents
Knowing some common tactics used to stage car accidents is the first way you can protect yourself from becoming a victim. There are three main strategies used in staged car accidents: the “swoop and squat”, the “drive down”, and the “bullet left turn.”
The Swoop and Squat
The swoop and squat involves two scammers working together. The first is driving in front of you and the other passes on your left, blocking you in for a moment. The passing driver then abruptly swerves in front of the leading scammer who suddenly slams on their brakes, causing you to rear-end them.
The best defense against the swoop and squat is to always keep a safe following distance so you have time to stop no matter how fast someone slams on their brakes.
The Drive Down
The drive down usually occurs in parking lots when you are reversing out of a parking spot. While you reverse the scammer approaches from the side, stops, and waves you to proceed. When you do, the fraudster suddenly accelerates and crashes into you.
The best way to protect yourself against the drive down is to always follow right-of-way protocol, and not to trust wavers.
The Bullet Left Turn
Similar to the drive down, the bullet left turn involves an intersection where you are waiting to make a left turn. The scammer then stops at the intersection and waves you through. As you make your turn, the scammer suddenly accelerates into your car.
Like the drive down, the best defense against the bullet left turn is to not trust wavers and to always just follow the traditional right of way.
How You Can Protect Yourself From a Staged Car Accident
The best way you can protect yourself from a car accident is to alter your driving practices so scammers can’t put you in a position where you are at fault.
Here are some best practices to follow:
- Always keep a safe distance behind other cars
- Don’t speed
- Don’t trust people who wave you through in situations where they have right of way
- Don’t wave other people through when you have right of way
- Look beyond the vehicle in front of you
- Be careful when turning at intersections that allow two vehicles to turn simultaneously
What You Can Do After an Accident to Protect Yourself From Insurance Fraud
If you have been in a staged accident, there are some things that you can do to help your claim against the other driver. In addition to the typical steps that you should take after an accident, like exchanging information and taking photos of the damage, here are some additional steps to help prevent yourself from being a victim of insurance fraud:
- Look for potential witnesses that can back up your claims, but be aware that some scams will plant witnesses to support the fraudulent story
- Take photos of the other vehicle and all of its passengers
- Count the number of passengers and try to get documentation of their names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers
- Be suspicious of referrals for auto shops or storage facilities
- If you seek medical assistance, keep a careful record of the treatments you receive and compare them to your invoices
- File a report with the police
- Inform the police and your insurance company that you suspect it was a fraudulent crash and provide all of the information you collected
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer For Help After a Crash
After a staged accident, you might want to consider hiring a car accident lawyer for legal advice on how you can seek compensation, for help receiving injury benefits, or for help filing a long-term disability claim.
Zayouna Law Firm is car accident lawyer in Brampton that can help inform you of your rights after an accident and help you develop a plan for communicating with your insurer or taking the other driver to court.
Contact Zayouna Law today to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers.