Cars. We drive and ride in them every day but it is a fact that most people will experience a car accident in their lifetime, possibly many. Car accidents can cause much physical, mental and financial anguish including visits to the doctor, increased insurance premiums, car repairs and possibly even a lawsuit. If you were involved in a serious car crash you may need a qualified accident attorney to protect your assets or help settle an insurance claim.
Insurance companies pay out millions of dollars per year in insurance claims and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) car crash injuries cost more than $99 billion dollars per year in health costs.
Injuries from car accidents are the number one cause of death for children and adults up to the age of 34. According to car-accidents.com there are more than 6 million car accidents per year in the United States costing more than $230 billion dollars, injuring 2.9 million and killing 43,000. Every day, about 115 Americans are killed in car crashes.
How do we Reduce the Impacts of Car Accidents?
- Decrease drunk/high driving
- Decrease distracted driving
- Increase seat belt usage
- Improve child passenger safety
- Improve teen driver safety and skills
Fraudulent Accident Claims are on the Rise
Insurance companies spend millions of dollars every year fighting off accident claims for fictional motor vehicle accidents. Shockingly, there are people who cause car accidents and try to make it look like the other person’s fault in order to file a claim in their favor. A person may also be involved in a real car accident but exaggerate their injuries in order to increase their compensation. We all end up paying for this fraud through higher premiums but your personal driving record could also be negatively impacted if you are wrongly blamed for an accident.
Common Fraudulent Car Accident Claims
- Lawyers, doctors and mechanics submit claims for payment of services for an accident that never happened
- Person reports a hit and run that never happened
- Person tries to get rear ended (ex. by breaking very quickly) knowing that the accident will be blamed on the driver who hits them. The “victim” then claims excessive/fake injuries.
- After causing an accident, the person has a fake witness who makes false claims against you. ex. running a red light or speeding.
What should I do After a Car Accident? How do I Protect Myself from a Fraudulent Accusation?
- Call the police and insist in a police report even if it is a small accident.
- Keep a camera, pen and paper in your car. Take pictures and notes of everything at the scene including the cars and passengers. Note whether passengers were wearing seatbelts and if they appear injured.
- Write down contact information of any witnesses and the passengers in the other car(s).
- Do not sign any blank claim forms.
- Be suspicious of any overly helpful people that appear on the scene suggesting that you use a certain towing company, lawyer or auto repair shop; they could be involved in the scam.
- Contact your insurance agent or company immediately.
- Exchange driver’s license, insurance and car registration information.
The bottom line is that you could be the victim of a fraudulent car crash and not even know it. If something seems fishy, call the police and an experienced car accident lawyer who can help protect you from unfair insurance premium hikes or from being sued. The auto accident attorneys at Tario & Associates are here to help; contact us today!