Trucking accidents happen too frequently in the U.S. As such, vast sums are spent on programs designed to minimize the risk of crashing to protect truckers, motorists, and others on the road. Yet crash-prevention systems cannot mitigate every potential risk, such as truck accidents intentionally staged by those seeking to profit from fraudulent insurance claims.
Multiple Parties Involved in Staging Scheme
According to reports, at least five people have pleaded guilty to staging multiple accidents with 18-wheelers in one state. Along with 28 other suspected participants, they deliberately hit commercial trucks and fled the scene.
After the “accidents” the parties filed false crash reports and fabricated personal injury claims. They asserted that the truck hit them, and insurance and trucking companies subsequently paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle the claims.
State and federal agencies investigated the fraudulent claims and ultimately charged the participants with numerous criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Paying the Price
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported in the staged accidents. However, these incidents make it clear that even fabricated crashes are not cheap.
Trucking companies, insurance providers, and individuals can get stuck covering the costs to settle claims they should not have to pay. Furthermore, these parties may not be able to recover damages they are rightfully owed.
Adding to overall costs, dishonest parties face serious penalties after staging trucking accidents, such as incarceration, fines, and orders to pay restitution to victims.
Before offering a settlement or accepting blame for a crash, trucking companies and insurance providers should consult experienced legal counsel. There is often much more than just money on the line in these cases, including the reputations of trucking companies, the driving records of commercial operators, and the health and safety of motorists.