If you’ve been in an auto accident lately, you know it can be a real pain! The phrase “adding insult to injury” becomes real if the other driver makes false insurance claims. Most of our fellow motorists are responsible drivers, but unfortunately, there are a few con artists looking to make a quick buck. Along with expensive visits to an auto body repair shop, each year billions of dollars are paid by vehicle owners in fraudulent claims and higher monthly premiums.
Here’s some advice from an auto body repair shop on how to avoid the four most common auto insurance scams:
• Gesture-and-Smash: As you’re trying to turn onto a busy street, an oncoming car slows and the driver gestures for you to pull out. Just as you pull out, the other driver accelerates and broadsides you, claiming that you cut him or her off.
Solution: When another motorist gestures for you to do something, you are under no obligation to comply. Assess the situation–you may politely gesture back that you will wait.
• Rear-End Collision: The driver in front of you either stops much shorter than expected or brakes hard at the last instant. This can be an easy scam case, as generally, the blame for a rear-end collision is assigned to the car in back.
Solution: Don’t be looking down at your phone, or ride the bumper of the car in front of you! Also, don’t just watch the taillights of the car immediately ahead. Look ahead and be prepared to hit the brakes if you see brake lights off in the distance.
• Make-Believe Victim: The other driver claims there was another person in the car who sustained injuries. You don’t remember seeing this person, but it’s your word against the other driver’s. Memories are unreliable in traumatic situations.
Solution: Note the number of occupants in the other car and try to get all of their names. Take photos of the occupants and the whole area so that the other driver can’t claim there was another occupant standing off to the side. Verify that the police report specifies the number of people involved.
• Multiplying-Damage Report: If the impact takes out the other driver’s door, but the damage report states that the front fender and roof pillar also got damaged, the scammer probably reporting pre-existing damage as new damage.
Solution: Take detailed photos of both cars at the scene, noting the precise location of the impact. If you see pre-existing damage, take detailed photos of that too. Filing a police report will make it a lot harder for the other driver to pull off this scam.
Fortunately, most drivers are careful, considerate, and focused on doing the right thing. You may not be able to stop the scammers, but you can get wise to their tactics.
Are you looking for a reliable auto body repair shop after an auto accident? Contact our certified technicians at American Auto Body or go online to http://americanautobody.us for more information. Our auto body repair shop serves vehicle owners in Las Vegas, NV, and surrounding communities.