Last week the Ottawa Citizen ran an article about staged auto accidents. A staged car accident is one where one vehicle intentionally creats a car accident in the hope of defrauding one or more insurance companies. The article describes a typical scenario where the defrauding vehicle waves an innocent vehicle into traffic and then intentionally strikes the innocent vehicle, making it appear to be at fault. Sometimes a rehabilitation clinic is involved in the scam.
While staged car accidents are not a serious problem in Ottawa, they are elsewhere in Ontario. In particular Toronto faces serious issues with this type of insurance fraud.
Are Staged Ottawa Car Accidents a Victimless Crime?
Staged car accidents hurt everyone and are not a victimless crime. For starters, the driver and passengers in the innocent vehicle may be hurt in the collision. Even small impact accidents can result in serious injuries if someone has an underlying vulnerability or is sitting in an awkward position at the time of the crash.
Also very important, insurance fraud is used by the insurance industry to justify reducing benefits to everyone and for conducting lengthy and expensive investigations which delay the payment of claims and increase overall claims costs. Our firm will not represent any one we suspect may be involved in this type of scam.
If you have knowledge of someone staging a car accident in Eastern Ontario, notify the police. In the long run, eliminating fraud helps us all.