Being in a car accident in Homestead or anywhere in South Florida is a stressful situation. You may worry about paying for car repair bills, missing time at work, or otherwise having your life turned upside down.
Unfortunately, there are scammers who make the situation much worse by trying to defraud you when you are most vulnerable. Being aware of the most common scams can help you avoid some of the money drains fraudsters may impose on you.
The most common scam involves someone causing a collision in an effort to get money from your insurance company. You get the risk of injury, the stress of an accident, and the possibility of increased premiums while they hope to get cash.
In some cases, someone may slam on the brakes in front of you or may wait for you to be distracted and may initiate a rear-end shunt accident, hoping to make it look like your inattention caused the accident. It is common for these drivers to fake injuries or have multiple passengers all faking injuries to try to get more money from your insurance.
In this closely related scam, a driver may wave you forward and then crash into you when you go ahead. When you confront them, they will allege they never waved you through and will place the blame squarely on you.
Another common variation of this involves a scammer causing an accident and then waving it aside, saying you don’t have to exchange information or report the collision. When you agree and drive away, they drive right to the police and allege you are a hit-and-run driver.
In some cases, a fraudster will cause an accident and will demand cash from you, threatening to take you to court or sue you because you “caused” the accident. They may have helpers acting as bystanders and may try to make a scene or pressure you into paying.
Some fraudsters work with fraudulent tow truck drivers, doctors, bystanders, passengers, mechanics, and others to try to blame you for an accident or to try to elevate the amount of “damage” the accident reportedly caused. Some may pressure you into trying to sign papers accepting responsibility for the collision.
Some scammers have cars they have damaged themselves. You don’t even have to have an impact for them to allege you caused injury to their car.
There are a few ways you can reduce the risk of scams:
- Drive defensively: Always look out for any drivers acting strangely and stay well out of their way. Plan your moves a few seconds in advance.
- Report all accidents: Never allow someone to talk you into ignoring an accident. Always exchange contact and insurance information, just in case.
- Read everything carefully: Never sign a paper related to your claim or accident without reading it carefully and understanding it in full. Better yet, have an attorney review any papers before you sign. If someone tries to pressure you into signing something without reading or reviewing, that is a red-flag sign of a scam.
- Work with an attorney: If something does not seen quite right, a Homestead car collision attorney can review the case and can work to get your fair compensation. They can also work to ensure you are not wrongfully held liable.
If you need an attorney anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with our legal team.