There is a growing trend amongst car drivers for people to stage accidents in a bid to claim some money back from their car insurance - this is known as 'crashing for cash', and it is causing problems for honest motorists.
How to Cope With Crash for Cash Scams
If you are involved in an accident, then there are a few things that you should do to make sure that the accident is dealt with properly. Follow these tips to ensure that you are not the victim of a scammer.
Firstly, try to stay calm. Look around for witnesses, because they could be useful if someone tries to make false claims about what happened.
Take the details of the other driver, and provide your own details to the driver as well. Use your phone to take photographs of the scene of the accident and any damage to the vehicles that were involved. If you can't take photos, at least sketch the scene so that you have some record of what happened.
You do have some responsibilities if you are a driver and you are involved in an accident - especially if the accident caused injury to another person, damaged their property, or caused the death or injury of an animal.
You are required to stop your vehicle and stay at the scene for a reasonable period of time assuming that it is safe to do so. You should not 'hit and run'.
You should give your details (the car's license plate number, your name and address, and the details of the owner of the vehicle if you are driving someone else's vehicle), to anyone who has a reasonable need for those details.
If you do not successfully exchange details with a person that was involved in the accident, then you must report it to the police within 24 hours of the accident.
If you injure someone, then you must provide your insurance details. Make sure you are getting the best deal with car insurance comparison from Money Expert. If you are unable to do that at the scene of the accident, then you should provide it to the police when you report the incident, or within 7 days of the accident. You cannot simply report the incident to the police over the telephone.
You should take steps to report the incident and co-operate with investigations not just if you caused the accident, but if your presence was in any way a factor. Failure to report the incident and failure to stop could lead to penalty points on your license, or a substantial fine. You could lose your driving license if the offense is deemed serious by the courts.