What Is a Staged Car Accident?

Posted On November 15, 2023 Car Accidents by John Allen Phebus

After you get into a car accident, the last thing you might be inclined to think is that the crash was staged. However, deliberate and fraudulent traffic collisions are often orchestrated by individuals with the intent of making a false insurance claim for financial gain. There are certain warning signs you can look out for to help determine if a car accident was staged.

What Is a Staged Crash?

As the name implies, a staged car accident is one that was orchestrated on purpose by one or more individuals. The goal of a staged car accident is to scam a victim into paying an insurance settlement. The alleged “victim,” the fraudster who actually orchestrated the crash, will file a false claim with the other driver’s insurer or his or her own insurance company for profit. A staged car accident is a common type of insurance fraud.

Signs of a Staged Car Accident in Arizona

Many victims of staged car accidents do not realize they were involved in an orchestrated crash as part of an insurance fraud scheme. Identifying a staged car accident is critical for protecting a victim’s rights. Proof of a staged crash could protect the victim from suffering adverse insurance consequences, such as increased premiums or being dropped by the insurance company. It could also lead to a fair payout for his or her losses.

Common types of staged car accidents include:

  • T-bone collision: a fraudster waits until a target enters an intersection, then deliberately crashes into the side of the vehicle. The fraudster would have one or more witnesses claiming that the innocent victim ran the stop sign or red light.
  • Swoop and stop: fraudsters in separate vehicles box in a victim so that he or she cannot swerve to avoid a rear-end collision. Then, the driver in front suddenly slams on his or her brakes to cause an accident.
  • Drive down: also known as the “wave on,” a fraudster in this type of collision gestures to a driver who does not have the right-of-way to encourage him or her to proceed. Once the victim proceeds, the fraudster intentionally drives the vehicle into the target’s car.

The most common targets for staged car accident insurance fraud schemes are the elderly. If you suspect a staged car accident, notify local police while you are still at the scene. This could lead to criminal charges being brought against the fraudster. You should also report your suspicions to your insurance company immediately. Your insurer can work with law enforcement to investigate a suspicious claim.

You can learn more about what to look out for here.

What to Do as a Victim of a Staged Car Accident

A staged car accident is not accidental at all, but a planned “fake” collision. Unfortunately, the injuries and property damage suffered by victims are very real. If you suffer vehicle damage or a bodily injury in what you suspect was a staged car accident, report the incident immediately. Protect yourself by documenting the car accident thoroughly. This includes taking photos at the scene, obtaining witness information and filing a police report.

Then, contact an experienced Glendale car accident lawyer to represent you. Dealing with a staged car accident case can be complicated. An attorney can help you collect evidence to prove that the collision was staged and that the alleged “victim” is at fault. A lawyer can help you seek fair compensation for your losses and avoid adverse insurance actions that you might otherwise face by being blamed for the accident.

For legal advice regarding a potential staged car accident in Arizona, contact the Law Offices of John Phebus for a free consultation with an attorney.