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Can You File a Claim for Compensation if Your Car Crash Was Staged?

staged car crashesIt is possible to seek compensation if you were the victim of a staged car crash. However, staged car crashes make a case much more complicated, so you will likely need help from an experienced attorney. Proving a car crash was staged is extremely difficult to do on your own.

At Jay Trucks, we understand the shock and confusion drivers often experience after a crash. We also understand how this can be compounded by the suspicion victims may have about whether their crash was staged.

We are ready to take your call to learn more about your crash and tell you how we may be able to help you take legal action. If you hire our firm, there are no upfront fees or legal obligations. You do not need to concern yourself with the cost of our services. There are no fees unless we obtain compensation.

Request your FREE case review: (989) 244-0440

What is a Staged Car Crash?

Staged car crashes are collisions deliberately set up to make it look like someone else is at fault. In truth, however, those who staged the crash are to blame. These scams often involve two or more drivers. They may also involve others who are in either of the two cars used in the scam. Sometimes these scams involve three vehicles.

Those involved in staging a car crash will lie to police and the insurance company about what happened. They are also likely to fake injuries to try to seek compensation from the victim’s liability insurance. The scam may even involve witnesses who give an account of the crash in support of the scam.

If something seems strange about your car crash or how it happened, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away. Staged crashes are becoming more common. Seeking legal help immediately and having your crash thoroughly investigated may help to ensure you are compensated for your damages.

What Are the Different Types of Staged Car Crashes?

It is a good idea to learn more about the different types of staged car crashes. That way, if you are ever involved in one, you may be more likely to recognize it.

Swoop and Squat

One of the most common car crash scams is the swoop and squat, also known as the swoop and stop. This is a staged rear-end crash in which the victim crashes into the back of another car.

This scam involves a minimum of two vehicles, but sometimes three are used. In a two-car scam, there is one vehicle in front of you and one behind. The driver of the one in front of you will slam on the brakes for no good reason. The driver in the car behind you is there to prevent you from slowing down enough to avoid a collision.

Sometimes this scam involves a third vehicle that is in the lane to the left or right of yours, preventing you from swerving to avoid a collision with the lead driver.

Start and Quick Stop

Similar to the swoop and squat, the lead driver accelerates, causing the rear driver to accelerate as well. To help ensure the collision, the lead driver quickly hits the brakes as the rear driver accelerates. This can easily lead to a rear-end crash. Start and quick-stop scams usually happen in heavy traffic.

Drive Down

Many of us have had another driver wave at us to let us know we can merge in front of them. Most of the time, one driver waves, and the other driver waves back to acknowledge it. Then both drivers proceed to go on their way.

In a scam, however, the first driver who waved may wait until the victim’s car starts to merge. The driver in on the scam would then speed up and crash into the rear end of the victim’s merging vehicle. The driver who first waved at the victim would then typically deny they ever waved.

T-Bone Collision

This type of staged car crash occurs when a driver collides with the side of a vehicle as it is moving through an intersection. The driver in on the scam will try to say you ran a red light or blew through a stop sign. Others involved in the scam may act as witnesses to the crash, supporting the scamming driver’s version of what happened.

While some types of staged crashes may seem legitimate, this one may not. You would likely know for sure whether or not you ran a red light or stop sign.

How Will I Know if My Car Crash Was Staged?

You may not know for sure. However, there are various red flags that may indicate a staged car crash. One glaring red flag, for instance, is if there are multiple witnesses who all back up the other driver’s account of the crash. In most collisions, witnesses have varying accounts about a crash. It is unlikely everyone would give the same account.

Another red flag that your crash might have been staged is if the vehicle you hit has several passengers and they all complain about injuries after the collision.

Be aware also that after a staged car crash, scammers may try to get cash from the victim at the scene. One way they do this is by offering not to call the police if you pay them cash to help cover their medical bills.

If aspects of your collision seem like one of the types of staged crashes mentioned above, you may have been the victim of a scam. Take note of what the other driver, passengers and witnesses say about the crash. If it seems like their statements were coordinated, it could be a sign of a scam.

Sometimes those in the other vehicle will tell you they are not injured before the police arrive, only to change their story when the police show up.

Steps for Victims of Staged Crashes

Whether or not you suspect a scam, you should call the police right away so they can complete a report on the collision. If you think this was a staged crash, inform the responding officer. Make sure you explain exactly why you think the crash was staged. Police officers are experienced at spotting lies and they may agree with you.

Avoid a Confrontation With the Other Driver

Try to avoid a confrontation with the other driver, passengers or witnesses. They may try to badger you with statements about how you are at fault and demand that you pay for their medical care and other damages.

Gather Evidence From the Scene

While waiting for the police to arrive, be sure to take pictures of the crash scene. Try to capture:

  • The crash scene, including any debris in the road
  • Where the vehicles landed (include both vehicles in the picture)
  • The damage to both vehicles
  • Any visible injuries you sustained

Get Contact Details From Other Witnesses

If there are other witnesses who support your account of the crash, make sure you get their contact information. Your lawyer can follow up with them in the future.

Seek Medical Care Immediately

You also need to get medical treatment as soon as possible to stabilize your injuries. Additionally, your medical records will help to link your injuries to the crash.

Call a Lawyer Right Away

After a traffic crash, especially one you suspect was staged, we strongly recommend you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can ensure your crash is thoroughly investigated. If you can prove the crash was set up, the scammers who staged it may be held liable for your damages. Your lawyer may be able to help you file a claim against their liability insurance.

If, after speaking with a knowledgeable attorney, he or she agrees your crash may have been staged, we also recommend that you consider reporting the crash to the authorities. You can report a potential insurance fraud case to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

How Can I Avoid Being a Victim of a Staged Car Crash?

Sometimes it may not be possible to avoid a staged car crash. For example, say you have the right of way through an intersection. If the scamming driver fails to yield the right of way, it may not be possible to avoid a staged T-bone crash.

However, you can help to avoid a staged rear-end crash by making sure you leave an appropriate amount of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Additionally, use caution when merging. Make sure you have enough space to merge in front of another vehicle. Even though the other driver may wave you in, you need to be sure you have enough space to do so safely.

Call Jay Trucks. We Help Michigan Car Crash Victims

Victims of staged car crashes may feel overwhelmed with the thought of filing an insurance claim.

The good news is that if you have a case, you can get help throughout the legal process from an experienced advocate for crash victims. Our car crash lawyers in Grand Rapids have extensive experience helping injured victims. We have a history of proven results, recovering more than $500 million for our clients. We are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Proven Results. No Upfront Costs (989) 244-0440