Fender bender fraud is on the rise again in the United States. This classic scam, in which a team of scam artists work together to create an accident, then bill you and your insurance company for thousands of dollars in made up damages, can cost you a lot of money and time. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
One of the most important things you can do is keep a kit in your car that contains everything you need to deal with a minor accident. Make sure you have these items readily available.
- Important paperwork. Your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance are all required in the state of North Carolina. Make sure you have these available to show a police officer after an accident. Many times, scam artists will try to convince their victims to keep the accident out of official records. By having these documents, you’ll be prepared to deal with the police.
- Camera. The camera on your cell phone can work if it takes good pictures. Documenting the damage to both cars is a good way to present proof to your insurance agent later of the actual damages that occurred as a result of the accident.
- First aid kit. More important than the physical damage to property is the health tool that these scams take on their victims. Be prepared by carrying some basic first aid items in your car such as bandages and tweezers.
Of course, it’s also important for residents of Hope Hills, NC to be prepared for minor accidents with good auto insurance. Contact the agents at Cross Creek Insurance to get a policy that gives you enough coverage to protect yourself from these scams.
Most people don’t realize that often, injury claims occur weeks to months after the crash. Cross Creek Insurance offers several ways to protect yourself from fraud:
Notify the police. In the day of cell phones, it’s easy to call the police from the site. Even though police don’t always respond to minor accidents, you want to either wait for the police to arrive on the scene. If not, go to the station and file a report so that there is a public record.
Take plenty of pictures. Take pictures of all the vehicles involved, even if there is no visible damage. In a fraudulent claim, lack of damage can make a difference.
Get all the information. Name, addresses, phone numbers, license numbers of the individual and the car itself and insurance details of all the motorists involved are important. Take done similar information from any witnesses.
Be careful what you say. By admitting any fault on the scene, it could be used against you. Be cautious about what you say and don’t say, not only to police officers but to the other motorist and to the witness, and what you might say in a phone conversation that might be overheard.
Listen carefully to what the other motorist says. Even if there is not evident damage, listen for the other motorist or their passenger if they complain of discomfort or an injury. If the other motorist tries to blame or bully you, especially if he or she is at fault. Automatically insisting that they need an ambulance.These can be tipoffs that a fraudulent suit may happen.
Hire a lawyer. An auto accident attorney can investigate the crash, shift through the collected evidence and even request medical documents so they can dispute any legal action in the future.