When you get into a car accident, the last thing you want to think about is the potential for an auto accident scam. Auto insurance scams are more common than you’d think—Edmunds estimates 10 percent of auto damage claims and more than 20 percent of bodily injury claims in the United States are fraudulent.
If you suspect you are a victim of any of the following car accident scams, contact your local lawyer as soon as possible.
The Swoop and Squat
If you’re driving through Salt Lake City minding your own business when a car passes in front of you only to suddenly slam on its brakes, you may be a victim of the classic “swoop and squat.” Often in this situation, another co-conspirator car will block you in from the side so you cannot swerve to avoid the accident.
Passengers in the suspect car may fake or exaggerate head and neck injuries in order to file a large collision and injury claim against your auto insurance policy.
The Drive Down, or the Wave
In this scenario, a driver with the right-of-way in a merge or lane-change situation will slow down to let you pass and wave you forward. As soon as you pull forward, the other driver will then purposely accelerate and crash into your car, causing an auto accident.
When the Salt Lake City police arrive on the scene, the driver will deny having ever waved you into traffic, and the person at fault will be you.
Shady Helpers, or Bad Samaritans
Keep an eye out for suspicious “helpful” strangers who may approach you at the crash site. Con artists often pose as third-party consultants or insurance officials who will recommend a specific lawyer, body shop or physician’s office in Salt Lake City.
These recommendations are often a setup for further fraudulent insurance claims. Instead, always go to your usual lawyer or health professional.
Don’t be a Victim
Don’t fall for these shady auto accident scams. If something seems questionable, take photos and get as much documentation as possible. Run a claims history on the vehicle(s) involved, and make sure to find a good lawyer to represent you.