No matter how safe your driving habits are, sometimes traffic incidences still happen.
Unfortunately, there are a growing number of fraudulent lawsuits that take place due to fender benders and other mishaps on the roadway.
Here are just a few ways you can avoid becoming a victim of a fraudulent claim:
Fraudulent Auto Insurance Claims on the Rise
It’s unfortunate but true: a growing number of fraudulent auto injury claims are taking place each year in the United States.
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF), fraudulent auto claims are costing innocent drivers and insurance agencies roughly $5 billion each year. This number is likely to increase by 18% in the coming years.
Auto insurance fraud comes in many forms including staged incidents and exaggerated injury claims.
If you want to steer clear of a fraudulent auto lawsuit, there are some pointers you should keep in mind.
Call the Police
The police aren’t required to be at the scene of an incident if there aren’t any injuries involved.
However, it’s your right as a taxpayer to have a police officer present if you’re in a collision, even if it’s just a minor fender bender. So, make sure you call the police after a collision.
Police officers are trained in handling traffic incidences and can guide you in the right direction after a collision takes place. The police also know what to look for with staged accidents.
With a police officer onsite, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding a fraudulent claim.
Collect Witness Statements
Collecting witness statements is one of the most important steps to take after a collision.
The article “Your Car Was Hit From Behind: What Do You Do?” talks about the importance of collecting contact information from everyone involved in the traffic incident as well as witnesses.
Gathering witness statements is part of a police officer’s protocol. However, if an officer has yet to arrive on the scene, it’s wise to politely ask any witnesses and bystanders to stick around until an officer does arrive.
First-hand accounts of the incident are an effective way to avoid a fraudulent lawsuit.
Collision photos are considered evidence, which is why it’s so important to take detailed photos of the collision scene.
If you didn’t sustain any injuries and it’s safe to do so, make sure you take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle/s involved.
Even if it’s just a dent, photos can prove a claim is fraudulent based on the severity of the damage.
If it’s a major collision, the insurance company will usually send a representative to take pictures of the scene.
Give a Detailed Statement
Your statement of the traffic incident is just as important as witness statements and photographs of the scene.
Try not to leave any information out and be as concise as possible with the events that took place. If there is a fraudulent lawsuit as a result of the incident, your statement could play a huge role in the legitimacy of that claim.
If you want to take a detour around a fraudulent auto lawsuit, then keep in mind the pointers above.