Contesting the Other Driver's Fraudulent Injury Claim

If you suspect that the other driver is faking injury, or that their claim is otherwise fraudulent, what can you do about it?

It's a fact that some people make fraudulent injury claims after car accidents. If you were in a crash and you suspect that the other driver's claim is baseless (or that they're downright faking an injury), the extent to which you need to concern yourself with this possibility hinges largely on whether or not you have adequate car insurance coverage in place. Read on for the details.

If You Have Car Insurance

If you have car insurance, and the other driver is making a claim against that coverage, then the adjuster handling your case will take charge of the matter, and will investigate all aspects of the car accident, including any indication that the other is making a fraudulent claim for car accident injuries.

All you need do is be sure you give the insurance adjuster all of the information you have about the accident and anything related to it. That includes your most detailed account of how the crash happened, the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident and/or its aftermath, and any pictures you might have taken of the car accident scene.

After that, the adjuster is in charge, and there is nothing further you need (or should) do. Insurance companies are nothing if not thorough in ferreting out fraudulent or questionable personal injury claims -- it's their money on the line, after all.

If You Don't Have Car Insurance

If you're in a car accident and you don't have car insurance, you (and/or your lawyer) must take the lead in investigating and defending against a possible fraudulent injury claim.

You can start by writing down everything you can remember about what happened at the car accident scene, including:

  • how the collision occurred
  • approximately how fast each vehicle was traveling at the time of impact
  • the severity of the impact
  • what each person involved in the crash said afterward
  • how each person involved in the crash looked/acted afterward, and
  • injuries/symptoms that were reported or complained of by anyone involved in the crash.

If you took pictures at the car accident scene, got the names of witnesses, and had a law enforcement officer come to the scene so that a police report could be prepared, all of that evidence will be essential to fighting a fraudulent car accident injury claim.

If the "Injured" Person's Claim Seems Suspicious

If you're uninsured, and the other driver files a personal injury lawsuit against you, then you have some detective work to do if you think the person is faking their injuries. Besides building a case through witnesses, pictures, and the police report, you can turn to the internet. Your goal is to try to uncover evidence of the person acting in a manner that is inconsistent with their claimed car accident injuries. Google and Facebook are excellent investigative devices, especially if the injured person has a significant social media presence, and is in the habit of posting lots of textual/visual evidence of his or her daily life.

For example, if you learn that the other driver is training for a half-marathon or just spent a weekend building houses for Habitat for Humanity, participation is activities like that can indicate that a debilitating knee injury is being faked.

While it could be risky, some parties to a personal injury lawsuit (or investigators hired by personal injury lawyers) have been know to do a little in-person sleuthing when they suspect that an injury is being faked or exaggerated (without confronting the person, of course). The goal here is to observe (and possibly record) how the "injured" person looks and acts. Are appearances and activities consistent or inconsistent with the claimed injuries? An investigator is free to take photographs/video as long as they are on public property and the subject is on public property, when the pictures/videos are taken.

Ultimately, if the other driver is suing you, and you and your lawyer are convinced that the claim is fraudulent, your best course of action may be to let the lawsuit process play out until the time comes to ask the court to order the other driver (the plaintiff) to submit to an independent medical examination (IME). If the court grants this request, then the true nature and extent of the plaintiff's injuries should become clear. If it turns out that the plaintiff's claimed injuries can't be medically substantiated, there's a chance that the lawsuit could be dismissed.

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