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Staged Auto Crashes

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


Being involved in a car accident is always a stressful experience. After an accident you may battle with stress and anxiety, physical pain, expensive repairs, and the inconvenience of being without a car. Accidents happen, however, and it’s a risk every driver has accepted. Far more troubling than an everyday mishap is a staged car crash, where someone purposely causes a collision in order to make money through trumped-up insurance claims, risking other people’s health and well-being in order to scam an insurance provider.

Staged car accidents are an all too popular scam designed to net the perpetrator a windfall in damages from fraudulent insurance claims. Staged crashes are purposeful collisions designed to make it appear as though an innocent driver is at fault. Successful scammers do careful research and practice runs to ensure the final crash looks authentic and like it was caused by someone else. After the crash, perpetrators make insurance claims for fake or largely exaggerated injuries and vehicle damages. Unsuspecting victims may be injured in the crash and wind up facing medical bills, court dates, points on their license, car repairs or rental fees, and rising insurance premiums.

Scammers may use a number of well-known ploys or scenarios to cause a crash, some common tactics are:

  • T-Bone – Some scammers will T bone your vehicle as it lawfully proceeds through an intersection. Because it is staged and has been rehearsed, he or she will have fake witnesses on the scene in the form of other drivers or nearby pedestrians to corroborate their testimony that you ran a stop sign or red light and caused the intersection accident.
  • Switching Lanes – A scammer may wave you over as you attempt to switch lanes and then speed up to crash into you purposely. They will tell law enforcement that they never waved you over and that you caused the accident.
  • Sideswipe – If you are in a dual turn lane, a scammer may sideswipe your vehicle and claim that you drifted into his or her lane. Fake witnesses may be planted on the scene to confirm the story.
  • Rear-end – This common tactic involves the perpetrator abruptly slamming on his brakes, causing you to get into a rear-end accident with him, and then denying it.
  • Working as a Team – In another scenario, two vehicles working together will trap you into an accident. One will pull in front of you and stop abruptly while another will drive alongside you so you cannot swerve to avoid the collision.

Anything can happen on the road, so it’s hard to avoid being the victim of a staged car accident. Do your best to protect yourself from scams by carefully documenting any accident you may be involved in. Take diligent notes. Take pictures and/or video with your cell phone of both vehicles and the scene. Take down any information you can about the other driver, including their name and address, phone number, registration, insurance information, driver’s license number, and license plate.

If you’ve been in an accident, make sure you call the police and give them all of the details and evidence you’ve collected once they arrive. Report details to your insurance provider as well as theirs, and never admit guilt or liability or offer to settle at the scene of a collision. Legal representation should always be provided in cases involving a staged car accident. For a free consultation call a lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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