Have You Been the Victim of a Staged Accident?
It may be difficult to believe that automobile “accidents” might be staged. But, it happens more than you might think. Just recently, as reported by the US Department of Justice, a New Orleans woman pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for conspiring to stage an accident in 2015. As described in the press release, one woman claimed that she was a passenger in an automobile owned and driven by an unnamed co-defendant. The woman claimed that they were hit by a Hotard bus while traveling on the I-10 near the flyover of the I-510. The woman (and three others) obtained a settlement of approximately $677,500. But, the government had evidence that the four persons actually staged the accident. According to the report, the unnamed co-defendant recruited the woman and the others to ride along as passengers and he then sought out and intentionally crashed into a commercial vehicle — the Hotard bus. After the staged accident, the co-defendant driver switched seats with one of the passengers and then they called the New Orleans Police Department. The four persons then sought a settlement and falsely claimed that the Hotard bus illegally changed lanes and caused the accident. In another case, a New Orleans attorney pleaded guilty to paying a person to stage 31 tractor-trailer crashes. See DOJ press release here.
Why This Matters
If you have been the target of a staged crash, the fraudulent and false nature of the wreck means that you are not legally liable for any injuries or damages that are caused to the person or person who intentionally staged the crash. Just as importantly, YOU may have a claim for compensation if you have suffered injury and/or damage to your vehicle. If you think you have been the target of a staged auto crash, you need to contact experienced Louisiana automobile accident attorneys.
Some Signs That You May Have Been Involved in a Staged Accident
Here are a few signs that might suggest that you have been involved in a stages vehicle crash:
- Strange movements of passengers and drivers — like in the case described above, if passengers and drivers in the other vehicle switch seats or make other strange moves, that may be a sign of a staged accident.
- Appearance of passengers — if you think there were only two occupants of the other car and, suddenly, there are more passengers, that may be a sign of a staged crash.
- Strange road behavior like sudden stops for no reason – that may be a sign of a staged accident.
- “Blocking” behavior by surrounding cars before the crash — staged crashes are often conducted by teams; one vehicle will “block” for another preventing defensive driving maneuvers.
- False testimony — false testimony is typical in staged accident cases; for example, one common tactic involves “waving” another driver through an intersection, hitting the vehicle as it enters the intersection and then lying about waving the driver through.
- Witnesses just happen to appear and linger — in normal cases, it is rare for third-party witnesses to stop and identify themselves and rarer still if they linger at the scene of a traffic wreck; most drivers are busy and on their way somewhere; witnesses who appear and linger are a sign that the crash has been staged.
- And more…
Our Attorneys Can Help
For more information, contact the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success handling many types of Louisiana personal injury cases including car accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability accidents, and cases involving nursing care facility abuse/neglect. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.