Staging Car Accidents
Although most people have heard about the staging of car accidents on the news, few are aware that many people are falsely accused of this offense every year. This is largely due to prosecutorial zeal and can have devastating consequences for a defendant’s personal life and finances, so if you have been charged with staging a car accident or another type of insurance fraud, you should strongly consider retaining a white collar crime attorney who has the experience and resources to help prove your innocence.
What are Staged Car Accidents?
A staged car accident is one that is purposely caused by a driver who hopes to collect payment by filing an insurance claim. There are a number of ways to stage a car accident, but the most common include the:
- Swoop and squat, in which a driver suddenly swerves in front of another car and slams on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision. In these types of crashes, the driver of the car who rear ended the other vehicle is presumed to be at fault, so the other driver will often claim to have sustained a painful injury as a result of the collision in order to file insurance claims with the other target’s insurer.
- Drive down, which also involves two vehicles, one of which is driven by a person who is attempting to merge into another lane. The other driver slows down and waves the car forward before colliding with it and denying that he or she yielded to the other vehicle. This tactic is also used on drivers who are backing out of parking spots.
- Sideswipe, which occurs when a driver who is turning left in the inner lane of a dual left turn lane is rammed by the driver in the outer lane who then claims that the first driver drifted into his or her lane.
All of these tactics fall under the definition of staging a car accident. Unfortunately, so many people are fearful of this type of accident that they often unfairly accuse someone else of committing fraud. This can have serious consequences for the accused who face possible jail time in addition to hefty fines.
Florida law specifically prohibits organizing, planning, or participating in intentional car crashes with the intent to file a civil claim against someone else or to make a claim for personal injury protection benefits. This also includes being involved in a scheme to create documentation of a crash that did not actually occur. Defendants who are convicted of this offense will be required to spend at least two, but up to 15 years in jail and will have a second degree felony on their record.
Call Today to Discuss Your Case with an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney
If you have been accused of staging a car accident in Miami, obtaining legal counsel is a critical next step. To schedule a free case evaluation with a dedicated attorney who can explain your legal options please contact the legal team at Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys by calling 305-670-9919 at your earliest convenience.