CNET On Cars: How to spot a 'staged' accident
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CNET On Cars: How to spot a 'staged' accident

2:12 /

Tell-tale signs that the accident you just had could be a scam.

-Nobody likes getting into a car accident, unless you do it for a living. -Well, schemers do cause an accident with an innocent person and make it that innocent person's fault. Simplest scheme is to pull in front of an intersecting driver and slam on your brakes. Any vehicle that they know is gonna have insurance. -And our partners at State Farm say FBI figures indicate these crooked collisions cost insurance company some $20 billion a year and you know who ends up paying that. Now, staged accidents start off looking like accident accidents. But here are some red flags to keep an eye out for that make all the difference. Everyone in the other car complains of neck and back pain, even though the collision was minor. Lots of witnesses come forward at the accident scene right after it happens. Those could be plants. The driver of the other vehicle offers to find you a great repair shop, doctor, or lawyer. Now, avoiding a staged accident is a lot like avoiding an accident with a particular emphasis on space around you. You see, the scammers will try stuff that involves being close. They'll come up right behind you. They'll come right in front of you and jam their brakes on. Or they'll wave you in for a lane change and then come right in and clip ya and then it's all to the insurance claim. Luckily, personal technology, mobile devices can really help you in the event of and right after a staged accident. Use your smartphone to take lots of photos of the car damage, licensed plates, insurance cards and IDs, even the other parties. If you've got a panoramic photo feature, use it to document the entire scene. Sketch out what happened while it's fresh in your mind or use an app like State Farm has where you can enter the accident report digitally right then. And consider installing a drive cam in your car that always records a few seconds before, during, and after an accident impact.

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