Staged Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

May 12, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Staged Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Staged Car Accident Scams Can Happen to You

With anything that has insurance involved in making large payouts, there will surely be some kind of scam cooked up to take advantage of an easy buck. These insurance scams are typically well thought out and carefully orchestrated in order to take advantage of drivers like you. Don't let yourself become a victim of the fraudulent personal injury claims of scam artists. Protect yourself by learning how to identify, avoid, and deal staged car accidents.

What is a Staged Car Accident?

A staged car accident is when someone causes a car accident on purpose in order to make a personal injury claim on a fake injury so that they can collect an insurance company paid settlement. They get a check for a made up case of whiplash while your insurance premium goes through the roof. Staged car accidents are among the most common kinds of insurance scams in the country. The others being cared damage fraud and faked car theft. The investigation, damage, and payouts that these scams cause cost the country millions every year. What is terrifying is just how dangerous such a scam can be. It doesn't take much for an attempted fender bender scam to turn into a full blown high impact crash with actual injuries or even fatalities.

Types of Staged Car Accidents

Scammers will attempt to utilize these strategies in order to cause a collision that they can claim resulted in a faked injury.


The scammer waits at an intersection for someone to drive past them. They then accelerate in order to hit the side of their mark's car. There will typically be a second member of the scam that will be watching from somewhere that will act as a witness. In the aftermath of the collision, the two scammers will claim that the mark ran a light or stop sign and therefore be liable for their faked injury.

A Friendly Wave or Drive Down

A scammer will try to find someone attempting to switch lanes or merge and will wave their hand to indicate that they are going to let them in. When the mark tries to switch lanes, the scammer will speed up so that there is a collision between them. In the aftermath the scammer will claim that there was no hand gesture and that their mark simply switched lanes recklessly and hit them.

Dual Turn Sideswipe

In a dual turn lane, a scammer will wait in the outer lane for someone to drive ever so slightly out of the marked lane so that they can hit them. They may even go so far as to outright drive into their mark's lane in order to secure a collision which they will claim was Mark's fault.

Brake Slam

The scammer will drive in front of someone and slam their brakes in order to cause a collision with the car behind them which they will blame for rear ending them.

Swoop and Stop

A team of scammers consisting of two cars will place themselves in front and next to a mark's car. The front car will proceed to stop and the scammer driving parallel to the mark will block them from swerving out of the way and force an accident that will be blamed on the mark.

How to Avoid Staged Car Accident Scams

Maintain a safe Distance From Cars to Avoid Accidents

The best thing to do is to not even give scammers an opening they can exploit and start a collision. By maintaining a healthy amount of space between any vehicles, you will eliminate yourself as a possible mark for staged car accident scammers.

Call the Police if You Suspect Something is Wrong

If you get in an accident it is always a wise choice to get a police report that can be referenced later. It will also be useful for a personal injury attorney to have and use in your case should it come to it. You can also dial 911 and describe the cars that could be attempting to collide with you in detail while the dispatch sends a squad car. Every detail can possibly help later when trying to combat the scam. You may get lucky and a squad car might be in the vicinity to show up and help foil a potential car accident scam. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.

Take Pictures

Should police not make it to you in time, any pictures and descriptions of a suspected car accident scam vehicle can aid your case later. Remember that if you are able to, the taking of a video with your phone not only gives a clearer picture of any scamming events that may have transpired, but they also consist of thousands of pictures that can be examined later.


Having a witness to the events of a car accident scam can prove invaluable. If possible enlist any bystanders or anyone that happened to be near. Get their contact information as well as their account of how the accident unfolded.

You can Fight Car Accident Scams With a Counter Personal Injury Claim

Remember that it is possible to fight against these kinds of scams. You do not have to suffer the consequences of someone's scam as long as you are vigilant and follow the aforementioned steps so that a personal injury lawyer can file a counterclaim and possibly save you the damage to your insurance premium and even get you compensated for any damages you received. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident or suspect that you have been the victim of a staged car accident scam then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free legal consultation. Our skilled lawyers have the experience needed to assist you in holding any liable parties responsible and getting you the settlement you deserve. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. You can reach us in one of these 3 ways:
  • Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 451-6900
  • Complete this online contact form
  • Click the Live Chat button in the bottom right corner of this page


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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