3 Tips for Avoiding Auto Accident Insurance Scams
Throughout the Tampa Bay area motorists have reported calculated insurance scams where drivers will orchestrate elaborate car crashes to collect insurance proceeds for injuries and property damage. These scams are often difficult to spot and can happen in the blink of an eye. Tampa auto accident lawyers fight for the rights of those who are genuinely injured due to the negligence of other drivers, but these scam artists rarely go to attorneys; instead, they are looking for a quick payout from the other drivers or a quick check from the insurance company.
The types of scams vary widely, but the goal is the same: create a staged accident and collect cash. Insurance companies spend millions of dollars each year trying to catch these criminals. Here are a few keys to avoid being ripped off.
Tip #1: Be alert
Stay off your phone, do not text and drive, and put down the food. In today’s hurried lifestyle, it is easy to be distracted by common, everyday conveniences. However, when traveling at 70 miles per hour down a heavily travelled interstate like I-4 or I-275, it is a good idea to keep your attention devoted 100 percent to the road ahead. This is your best bet for seeing a problem before it happens. Watch for motorists passing quickly then switching to the lane in front of you without a signal or warning. They may be trying to get you to hit them. As soon as someone moves into your lane ahead, you should slow down and prepare to stop suddenly if necessary.
Tip #2: Call a lawyer
This is probably your best option for avoiding a scam. Say a driver has created an accident using the “brake slam,” where they pull in front of you then slam on their brakes causing an accident. First, do not admit fault. Call the police then call a Tampa car accident lawyer. You should remain calm and seek medical care right away. Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company. Tell the police exactly what happened but do not make assumptions, guess, or speculate. If you are stunned, injured, or not feeling well, tell the police you can’t answer questions at the moment and you need to see a doctor first. Once you have been treated and had time to call your lawyer, you can always answer questions then.
Tip #3: Never pay a driver directly
Sometimes a scam artist will stage a pedestrian accident by leaping in front of your vehicle. If you hit someone and feel they acted intentionally, do not accuse or start a fight. Simply check to see if the person is okay, call 911, and then call your attorney. Some scammers will make a big scene and threaten to call the authorities on you unless you pay something upfront. The person might say something like, “I’m going to need a doctor and I don’t have insurance. Give me some cash so I can get checked out, and we’ll just forget about this.” Others may ask for your address or phone number, or may even want to take a picture of your license. Do not fall for it. If they threaten to call the cops, offer to do it for them. Take photographs and begin making mental notes – real ones if you have a pen and paper – of what happened, what time it was, and what was said. Whatever you do, do not give anyone cash.
Florida drivers face a host of dangers. If you or someone you love is truly injured in an automobile accident, you should call an aggressive personal injury lawyer at the Romero Law Firm who can fight for your rights. And if a scam artist injures you, no one can help protect your rights like a Florida injury lawyer.