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Would you recognize a staged car accident?

You're a law-abiding citizen who plays by the rules. Wouldn't it be a nicer world if everybody else did too? But you are sharing your world with many scofflaws who will stoop quite low in order to collect on ill-gotten gains, like those derived from fraudulent insurance scams.

One of the most common examples are staged car accidents. Perpetrators often work in teams, but solo drivers can engineer an accident that they then blame on you and collect from your insurance company.

Insurance fraud affects us all in the form of higher rates for coverage. Learn how to spot some tell-tale signs that the accident may have been staged.

The wave

Traffic is creeping along, but you need to make a left. Suddenly, you spy a driver giving you the signal with a wave of his or her hand, encouraging you to enter into their lane to make your turn. But just when you do, the driver accelerates and the two of you collide. All of a sudden, it's your fault and there was never a wave.


You make your move into the intersection and get rammed in a T-bone collision. Witnesses appear and tell police it was you who ran the light or stop sign.

Slamming on the brakes

When traffic is congested, the driver ahead suddenly brakes for no apparent reason, causing your vehicle to rear-end theirs, a ticketable offense.

While there may not be a way to prevent each instance of attempted insurance fraud, if you know or suspect that another driver has set up an accident that leaves you at fault, it's important to discuss your concerns with your attorney and also with the police.

Source: DMV.org, "How To Handle Staged Car Accidents," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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