Can you spot a liar from a mile away? Fake injury claims after a Houston auto accident are more common than you think. Do you know how to protect yourself from fraudulent insurance claims? If you don’t ask the right questions, take the right pictures, and document the right information, you could find yourself on the losing side of an argument. You never know when a Houston auto accident is going to happen, so learn how to protect yourself before jumping into the driver’s seat.
The Two Types of Fraud
First, understand that there are two types of fraud- hard fraud and soft fraud. Hard fraud has serious criminal and civil repercussions, but they do happen. In this fraudulent instance, a claimant creates an elaborate story of a Houston car wreck to get money from the insurance company for damages and injuries. In a soft fraud, which is a more common offense, the claimant is involved in a wreck, but they exaggerate the damage and seriousness of injuries.
Call the Police After a Houston Auto Accident
After a Houston auto accident, call the police regardless of how small the damage is. Let the police know if anyone is visibly hurt, where you are in relation to streets and traffic blockages, and if the wreck could be of danger to other drivers. These factors will determine if the police will dispatch to where you are. Based on the information you give, the police will decide if it’s necessary for them to visit the scene. If no one was injured, and the wreck isn’t blocking or causing harm to others, there’s a good chance that the police won’t show up. No record of police showing up means that the accident wasn’t serious, and will likely help expose a false claim.
Record All Conversations
Make note of what the other person says after the wreck. If someone claims to be fine or gives statements of admission of guilt immediately following the altercation, document it. These statements could help you win a court case against someone claiming injury. It is said that statements made directly after the wreck will indicate the driver’s state of mind.
Consider Witness Testimonies
Witnesses are your best friend. Find as many witnesses as possible, then take their statement and contact information down. It is best to find a witness that has no ties to either you or the other driver, such as a third party driver, a pedestrian, or a store owner. These witnesses have nothing to gain or lose by telling the truth.
Use Your Camera
Another smart step to take is to snap photos immediately after the accident. Make sure to get multiple angles of impact, and surrounding area photos. It also helps to get pictures and/or video of the other driver. If you notice the driver acting normal or laughing, record it. If they claim later that they were seriously injured, you have proof otherwise.
The Insurance Company is Next
As soon as you have taken down all the needed information, call your insurance company. Just as much as you hate dealing with false injury reports, your insurance company hates it even more. Give them all the information you have, and offer to provide the proof you took down. Answer any questions the insurance company asks with the most honest, detailed answers you can provide.
Keep in mind that you can’t force your insurance company to deny a claim you believe to be false. Sometimes it’s cheaper for the insurance company to pay the claim than to fight it. Unfortunately, this may lead to higher premiums on your insurance plan, or possibly a canceled insurance policy. Another smart move is to call a Houston auto accident attorney such as DeSimone Law Office. We can help fight the insurance company and/or the driver claiming false injuries. The moral of the story is to make sure all of your bases are covered to ensure the best possible scenario for yourself.