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. As a accident injury lawyer, I’ve never personally seen this many, but it’s scary to think this is out there.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE COMMON AUTO ACCIDENT SCAMS
If you suspect you are a victim of any of the following car accident scams, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
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.
POST-ACCIDENT DOCUMENTATION: PHOTOGRAPHS ARE KEY
In the early moments after an auto accident, the last thing you are probably thinking about is documentation. Nevertheless, taking photographs of an auto accident site and any resulting damages and injuries is imperative for a successful insurance claim and any future personal injury case.
Any experienced lawyer would say that the first priority after an accident is to call 911. The second? Start taking photographs. As soon as any medical emergencies are handled, responding police officers in places like Salt Lake City, Utah ensure public safety by clearing the roadways–effectively destroying any and all evidence of negligence and causation.
For a lawyer in Salt Lake City to make a convincing case in an auto accident lawsuit, he or she will need to demonstrate causation and liability. Detailed photographs can help provide convincing evidence.
Photographs of the crash site should be taken from all possible angles–from above, below, up-close and at a distance–to accurately construct the scene of the accident. The more photos, the better, so snapping two or three shots from each angle is ideal. Photos of skid marks, traffic indicators and weather conditions can help tell the story of how an accident occurred and who is ultimately at fault.
It is important to document the damage to all cars involved in an accident, including any debris around the crash site. Also, if you suffer any visible injuries in an auto accident, such as cuts, bruises or broken bones, photographs of those injuries can help your lawyer make a case for damages. If additional physical evidence of injury shows up in the days following a crash, be sure to take photo of this as well.
Finally, to properly document a crash, all photos need to be time and date stamped. To do this, turn on your digital camera or smart phone’s time stamp function.
If you have been involved in an auto accident in Salt Lake City or the surrounding area, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer immediately.
Free Initial Consultation with Personal Injury Lawyer
Car crashes happen. They are awful. When you need a car accident attorney, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506