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Crash for cash: What is it and is it an issue?

With Birmingham being named a ‘crash for cash’ hotspot and numerous towns and cities in the North West being named in the list of the top 30 cash for crash locations in the UK, we’ve looked at what crash for cash means and whether it is still a problem.

What is crash for cash?

Crash for cash is a term used to describe a deliberate accident which fraudulent individuals coordinate in order to make a personal injury claim.

Often they are used to make whiplash claims as well as claims for other related expenses.

Accidents usually involve a vehicle pulling out of a junction or side road unexpectedly. The driver will then speed up and then quickly apply the brakes hard.

This gives those driving behind little time to react and the likelihood is that they crash into the fraudulent individual.

This method is used by the fraudulent claimant as it is often acknowledged that it can be difficult to defend against a rear-end collision.

This can be hazardous for both parties, but especially so where a motorcycle accident occurs.

Some fraudulent claimants go to great lengths in their attempts to make a successful claim.

It has been known for them to remove the bulbs from their rear brake lights, meaning the driver behind has no warning that they are about to stop.

Other more adventurous fraudulent claimants have teamed up with other individuals to stage an accident by running into each and then both claim via their insurance companies.

Is crash for cash still a major issue?

The simple answer is yes.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) estimates that crash for cash claims in the UK cost around £340 million per year with approximately 50,000 personal injury claims being made as a result of crash for cash incidents.

A report in 2015 also highlighted that those making fraudulent claims were also working with garages who would charge inflated fees for repairs before claiming them back from the fraudulent claimant’s insurance company.

How can you protect yourself?

While it’s an unpleasant thought to think that there are groups and individuals putting road users at risk and using the roads to make a fraudulent profit, it is a fact and as a consequence, it’s vital that you know how to protect yourself should you encounter a person looking to have a crash for cash.

Drive safely

This may seem like common sense, but always allow yourself sufficient room between you and the car in front, this will allow you a safe distance within which to stop should you need to do so suddenly.

While this may not impact the crash for cash case, it may help prevent it in the first place.

As well as driving safely you should also invest in a dashboard camera. This will provide vital evidence should your case go to court.

Don’t admit to anything

In many instances, the criminals will attempt to pressurise you into admitting liability and apologising in front of witnesses and dashboard cameras.

Do not admit liability, doing so can make it extremely difficult to build a defence should your case go to court in the future.

Witnesses

While you may think that bystanders would be reluctant to testify in your defence, it’s not always the case.

At the scene of the incident make sure you get the names, addresses and contact numbers of any potential witnesses to give to your insurers.

Make sure you notify your insurers of the incident as soon as possible, and at the same time provide the insurer with the details of the witnesses.

Collect evidence

As well as using the evidence provided by witnesses, it’s also vital that you collect your own evidence too.

Make sure you take pictures of the scene of the incident and make note of the other driver’s name, number and address.

Indeed, this should be a course of action whether the incident is a crash for cash or a genuine accident.

Call the police

Whether you believe you’re a victim of a scam or not, you should always call the police after a road traffic accident.

If you are a victim of a crash for cash you may find that the scammer will take a step back when the police are mentioned.

Failing that it is always good to notify the police of an accident.

Conclusion

While many believe there is no defence against a rear-end collision, it isn’t always the case.

While we have outlined a few of the measures that can be taken to try and protect yourself in the event of a crash for cash, should your case go to court you will need a solicitor?

Our team of road traffic accident solicitors are here to help you get the compensation you deserve should you be injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.

You can rest assured that we are committed to you and your case and that we will be with you every step of the way during your case.

If you would like to discuss a potential claim we offer a free initial interview.

To speak to one of our specialist team call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1979 345, or complete our simple enquiry form and we can call you back at a time to suit you.