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Florida Driver Alert Staged Accident Claims Rampant in Sunshine State

May 21, 2010 – Florida – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released a report that cites Florida as one of the top spots for car insurance fraud in the country.

CBS4 reports that Florida topped the NICB list for bogus claims related to “staged accidents,” with 3,006 incidents in 3 years. New York was a distant 2 ndwith 1,680 claims and California (1,619), Texas (792) and Illinois (433) rounded out the top 5.

A staged accident can include one or more drivers and passengers who work together with “witnesses” to cause (and report) an accident in order to collect insurance payments for non-existent injuries. This fraudulent practice has been on the rise, a phenomenon that researchers attribute to the economic downturn.

Experts warn Florida drivers to be on the look-out for other drivers who might try to ensnare them in a staged accident. Be extra vigilant in the event that you are involved in a Florida car accident and take steps to ensure that your potential injury claim is preserved.

Listed below are some tips on how to respond if you’ve been involved or injured in what you suspect to be a staged accident:

  • Determine how many people were in the other car. Get everyone’s names, contact numbers and driver’s license numbers.
  • Contact the police immediately to report the accident. No matter how serious the accident, be sure to get a copy of the police report.
  • Take photos of the accident scene and damage to every involved vehicle.
  • Write down everything that happened while the event is fresh in your mind.
  • If you were injured-even if the injuries seem relatively minor- seek medical attention in a timely manner.
  • Follow up with any doctor’s appointments and pay close attention to your bills to ensure they are accurate.
  • Contact a Florida car accident lawyer as soon as you are able. This will help you to protect your Florida injury claim.

Not only do these staged accidents and perpetrators of insurance fraud put other drivers at risk for serious injury, their actions have an effect on the insurance industry as a whole. Because of rampant fraud, those who are legitimately injured in a Florida car accident may experience difficulty as they seek the compensation to which they are entitled.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a Florida car accident, an injury lawyer at Lilly, O’Toole & Brown can help you navigate the increasingly difficult task of fighting for accident injury compensation. We are committed to protecting your best interests and helping you collect the damages you and your family need and deserve to move on with your lives. Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation; 863-533-5525.