Although most car crashes in Pennsylvania happen by accident, there are an alarming number of crashes that involve some type of staging. According to the Insurance Research Council, 24% of car accident claims are fraudulent. Staged car accidents can result in real injuries for unsuspecting victims.
Types of staged car accidents
Car accidents can be staged in many different ways. Often, two drivers conspire to cause some type of crash in order to collect an insurance payment. A staged car accident usually involves an unsuspecting victim that was selected by the stagers. There may be other victims as well, since the initial accident could cause a chain reaction.
Swoop and squat
The “swoop and squat” is a type of car accident fraud that is planned by two criminal drivers with one unsuspecting victim. The first criminal driver swoops ahead of the second criminal driver and cuts them off. The second criminal driver is forced to slam on their brakes, which can cause the victim driver in the vehicle behind them to rear-end them. Meanwhile, the “swooper” continues driving.
Another common type of car accident fraud is the “drive down.” This scheme involves one criminal driver and one unsuspecting victim. The criminal driver motions to the victim that they are going to give them space to merge into traffic. As the victim attempts to merge, however, the criminal speeds up and causes a crash. Later on, the criminal driver will deny that they motioned the victim.
How to avoid being injured by staged accidents
Being caught up in a staged accident can result in bodily injury and property damage. If the criminal driver is able to successfully blame you for the accident, you could owe them money and your insurance rates could go up. You may be able to avoid these kinds of accidents by always maintaining a safe following distance and being cautious while merging. If you are involved in an accident, try to collect as much evidence from the scene as you can.