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Accused of Causing a Car Crash? Get Expert Crash for Cash Criminal Defence
‘Crash for cash’ is a type of fraud where someone deliberately causes a road traffic accident to make a financial gain. Such scams often involve braking quickly and unexpectedly in front of a chosen victim, causing the victim to crash into the back of their vehicle.
The financial gain could then come from making a fraudulent insurance claim or convincing the victim at the roadside to hand over cash to pay for the vehicle damage.
Although people who carry off these scams do not necessarily intend to hurt anyone, they can be extremely dangerous and result in serious injury or death.
If you are accused of taking part in a crash for cash scam, you could face criminal legal action for fraud and for road traffic offences, such as dangerous driving.
Being convicted of such serious offences could result in penalties such as a long prison sentence, a driving ban and a fine.
What is ‘crash for cash’?
Crash for cash (or cash for crash) is a type of motor vehicle fraud which involves causing a road traffic collision in order to gain money, for example by:
- Making a fraudulent car insurance claim.
- Making a fraudulent personal injury claim for conditions such as whiplash or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Convincing victims to hand over cash or transfer money at the side of the road or without involving insurers.
There are various ways cash for crash scams are committed. Common ways include:
- ‘Slam on fraud’ – braking suddenly in front of the victim’s vehicle when they are approaching a junction or roundabout.
- Swerving in front of the victim’s vehicle and braking suddenly on the motorway.
- Crashing into the victim’s vehicle when they are creeping out of a junction to check it is safe to go.
- ‘Flash for cash’ – flashing headlights to the victim to allow them to pass before purposely crashing into them.
Is crashing for cash a criminal offence?
Yes. Crashing for cash is commonly done to make fraudulent motor insurance claims. So, the circumstances of motor traffic collisions are always carefully investigated by insurance companies with the support of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
You could also be prosecuted for a range of other criminal offences, depending on the circumstances, such as:
- Personal injury fraud – it is referred to as ‘hard fraud’ when someone sets out to claim personal injury compensation for an accident they caused deliberately. It can also be fraud (referred to as ‘soft fraud’) where there is a genuine accident, but the victim exaggerates their injuries to get more compensation.
- Conspiracy to defraud or conspiracy to commit fraud – an agreement between two or more people to commit a fraud offence such as fraud by false representation.
- Dangerous driving – where someone’s driving falls below the expected standard of a careful and competent driver.
- Causing death by dangerous driving – causing the death of another person while driving dangerously.
- Careless and inconsiderate driving – driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users.
- Causing death by careless and inconsiderate driving – causing the death of another person while driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users.
Sometimes, all the vehicles involved in the crash are in on the scam which may mean there is technically no victim, but these types of scams are still criminal offences. You could still be prosecuted for fraud, attempted fraud or road traffic offences such as dangerous driving.
What should you do if accused of taking part in a crash for cash scam?
The rise in awareness of crash for cash fraud, combined with the prevalence of technology such as dash cams, means that being prosecuted is extremely serious.
If suspected of taking part in a crash for cash scam, you may be arrested or invited to the police station for a voluntary interview under caution. Alternatively, in the case of a driving offence, you could receive a notice of intended prosecution.
Whichever way you find out you are being investigated or prosecuted, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defence solicitor who specialises in serious fraud and road traffic offences.
Your solicitor can help you take the steps you need to protect yourself, such as representing you at the police station or liaising with the investigating authority.
Get in touch with our experts in fraud and road traffic offences
We are a dedicated criminal defence firm in Bournemouth, Dorset and our team are recognised as one of the leading teams of criminal lawyers in the region. We have a wealth of experience defending clients at the police station, during criminal investigations and at court hearings.