Being involved in a car accident can be extremely frustrating and can lead to serious injury and financial loss. Worse still, if the accident is considered your fault you will be unable to claim compensation for your injuries and losses. Insurance fraudsters have a number of ways in which they cause or instigate accidents and then successfully claim that the accident was the fault of the innocent driver. Protecting yourself against these scams can prove difficult, and vigilance is your greatest weapon when ensuring that you do not become a victim of this crime.
In order to be able to claim compensation following a road accident, an injured party needs to be able to prove that the other driver was at fault. The rules of the road typically dictate who is at fault in the eyes of insurance companies, police, and investigators, but there are occasions when the rules of the road are ignored and replaced with deference and politeness. Flashing your lights or waving a person out at junctions is not uncommon, but it is one of the tools used by insurance fraudsters to help win their cases.
Crash for cash is a term that describes any crash that is contrived by the fraudster in order to be able to claim compensation and other financial recompense. Arguably the most common and widely used tactic is for the fraudster to wait until the driver behind is not paying attention and then slam on their brakes. It is usually accepted that the driver behind is at fault for the accident because they should allow enough room to stop suddenly.
In order to further facilitate a crash for cash scheme of this kind, the fraudster may damage their brake lights. Even the more alert driver will struggle to stop in time if they do not have the warning that is offered from stopping lights. Insurance companies and investigators rarely investigate rear end accidents of this type because of the rules regarding braking distance and the fact that so few cases are found in favour of the rear driver. This means that the fraudulent driver has a very good chance of successfully claiming despite having engineered the accident themselves.
Flash for cash is an increasingly common form of crash for cash fraud. The fraudster waits at a junction and flashes to let another driver, who does not have the right of way, out of the junction. As the innocent driver pulls away, the fraudulent driver then sets off at hits the innocent driver’s car. They will deny any knowledge of flashing their lights and letting the other driver out and the innocent driver will rarely be able to win their claim.
Fraudsters rarely act alone when fashioning these types of accident. They may have passengers in the car who will also be able to make claims and they may use fraudulent witnesses to corroborate their story. With eyewitnesses on side, it is even more likely that the fraudulent driver will successfully make their claim and this means that the innocent driver will be left carrying the can. They may be badly injured, be found guilty of causing the accident, and lose their no claims bonus.
Crash for cash schemes are an alarmingly common occurrence on our roads and one that costs the insurance industry and innocent drivers billions of pounds every single year. It is estimated, in fact, that more than £2bn in undetected insurance fraud is committed every single year and a good portion of this can be attributed to individual fraudsters and car insurance fraud rings that manipulate conditions in order to fabricate an accident.