It's a fact that some people make fraudulent injury claims after car accidents. If you were in a car accident and you suspect that the other driver is trying to make a fraudulent injury claim against you, what can you do about it? Read on for some pointers.
If you have car insurance coverage, then your insurance company will take care of everything. The adjuster in charge of your case will take charge of pursuing any leads that may develop as to a fraudulent injury claim.
All that you need to do is to make sure that you give your insurance adjuster all of the information that you have about what happened. Tell the adjuster everything that you can remember about what happened, and give the adjuster any pictures that you might have taken of the other driver, the other vehicle, and the accident.
After that, the adjuster is in charge, and there is nothing further that you need or should do on this issue. It is the insurer’s problem, and insurance companies are nothing if not thorough in ferreting out fraudulent and questionable personal injury claims -- it's their money on the line, after all.
If you do not have car insurance, now it is you and/or your lawyer who must take the lead in investigating and defending against a possible fraudulent injury claim.
You start by writing down everything that you can remember about what happened at the accident scene. Some important things to focus on are the following:
If you know that you have no car insurance, you should make these notes the day of the accident, as soon as you get home and have a relatively clear head.
You should take pictures immediately after the accident, if you have a camera or camera phone, get the names and addresses of witnesses, and call the police and make sure that the police come to the accident scene to prepare a report.
This is where the real detective work begins. If the injured person files a claim against you, and you begin to think that it doesn’t all add up, then you have some work to do. You should make sure to get a copy of the police report and also get a copy of any accident report that the injured person might have filed with your state’s department of motor vehicles.
You could also drive by the person’s house for a little in-person investigation. Without confronting the person or causing any commotion, you could wait nearby and just see what the person is up to. How does he/she look? Are his/her actions and activities consistent or inconsistent with the claimed injuries? You can take photographs as long as you are on public property and the subject is on public property when you take the pictures.
Now it’s time to turn to the internet. Again, your goal is to try to uncover evidence of the person acting in a manner that is inconsistent with that of an injured person. Google and Facebook are excellent devices for this.
Search the person’s name on Google and just see whether he/she has any type of online presence. What has he/she been up to? What is he/she doing? Facebook is even better for this. You don’t want to friend the person, but, if his/her Facebook profile is not private, you should feel free to look through it and save onto your own computer any evidence of the person acting inconsistently with being injured.
For example, if the person wrote you and claimed that he/she has to stay out of work indefinitely because of the accident, but wrote on his/her Facebook page that he/she is running a road race or helping someone build a house, then that is pretty solid evidence that the person may be faking the injury claim.
But, ultimately, if the person sues you, you’re going to need a lawyer to defend yourself against the fraudulent claim. It will be a great day for you and your lawyer if you are able to deliver all of this evidence to your lawyer’s office.