Staged Car Accident Hurt Everyone Including The Real Injury Victims
July 14, 2010
I had heard about this sort of practice from the news. Back when I was living in Los Angeles, I would regularly hear on the news about the authorities having cracked a ring of criminals which involved illegal aliens, attorneys and doctors who engaged in defrauding the insurance industry by staging fake accidents. Last I heard was about a group of doctors and attorneys who would pay people to seat four or five to a car and stage rear end car accidents with commercial trucks and trailers. Their practice was revealed when one of these staged accidents went wrong and some of the passengers were killed during the staged event.
It is unfortunate to see this sort of behavior because, in the end, aside from the persons hurt during the staging of these fake accident, real victims of real accident get to have a harder time proving the truth and honesty of their claims. Generally, these criminal acts end up reducing the value of cases in general.
Staged traffic accidents are on the rise, endangering the lives and boosting the car insurance rates of innocent drivers who may unwittingly think they’re at fault.
Questionable claims from staged accidents increased 46.3 percent from 2007 through 2009, according the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, a Des Plaines, Ill.-based nonprofit agency funded by 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies nationwide to fight car insurance fraud and vehicle theft.
According to the NICB, the top five staged accident states for the period were Florida, 3,006; New York, 1,680; California, 1,619; Texas, 792; and Illinois, 433. The five cities with the most staged accident questionable claims were New York, 1,304; Tampa, Fla., 562; Miami, 511; Orlando, Fla., 422; and Houston, 376.
Auto insurance fraud added $4.8 billion to $6.8 billion to auto injury claim payments in 2007, according to the Malvern, Pa.-based Insurance Research Council’s November 2008 study “Fraud and Buildup in Auto Injury Insurance Claims: 2008 Edition.”