A common way of committing insurance fraud is through staged car accidents. In most cases, these crashes occur with two or more drivers working in tandem. These motorists make quick and dangerous maneuvers that cause collisions where they do not appear at fault.

No matter how aware you are, you may find yourself the victim of an insurance fraud crash. Without your knowledge, the other driver may have acted with intent. Spotting the difference between these collisions and unintentional accidents is difficult. But you can remember these tips if you suspect the motorist you collided with has an ulterior motive.

Brake check

If the driver in front of you slammed on their brakes, there may have been a vehicle in front of them that “caused” them to do so. This is the “swoop and squat” method. It lets the perpetrator claim that they needed to brake to avoid rear-ending their conspirator. Pay attention for automobiles racing away from the scene of the accident. Conspirators might be operating these vehicles.

Exercise caution, too, if you slam into a vehicle filled with passengers. Perpetrators may take advantage of driving a full vehicle, designating an occupant as a lookout. The lookout keeps their eye on your vehicle, and signals to the driver if they notice you’re distracted. The driver then slams on their brakes in hope that you will rear-end them.

Side swipe

Side swiping is another common cause of insurance fraud crashes. This often happens in dual left turn lanes or merging lanes. These are spots where the perpetrator has easy access to the sides of your vehicle.

Be aware of motorists on the outside turn lane, or who speed up after signaling you into traffic. Even if they hit you, they might argue that you caused the accident by not paying attention. This could guarantee them an illegal payout.

Stranger danger

Insurance fraud perpetrators often deploy conspirators as bystanders. They may arrive at the scene of the crash in its aftermath. Depending on the damage and your injuries, these people might encourage you to see a specific doctor, lawyer or auto body specialist.

If this happens to you, you can generally assume these businesses are illegitimate. In fact, they operate for the sole purpose of delivering kickbacks to the perpetrators. And your insurance company may increase your premium while doing so.

Knowing the signs of insurance fraud can protect you if you’re in a staged auto accident. Missing such signs may make you liable for any damages inflicted upon yourself and the perpetrators. Working with a personal injury lawyer can keep you from falling victim to this scam.