Accident Scammers Target Trucks For Financial Payout

Topic 24860 | Page 1

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DaveW's Comment
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A spate of fake accident claims against commercial vehicles in the New Orleans area highlights a growing problem for trucking companies.

Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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This is not surprising in the least, when I drove a limo someone tried the sudden stop method on me. Saw their big grin in their mirror hoping I would hit them, luckily I stopped in time.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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This type of thing is nothing new. Fraud has existed since time immemorial. But it seems to be escalating as the general work ethic deteriorates and the sense of "entitlement" increases at a rabid pace in society. Among the chief enablers of this despicable trend are the personal injury lawyers. I previously posted my astonishment about all the billboards along the highways, especially in the south, seeking clients for these sleaze bucket scums. So everybody who has a hang nail or was drunk and fell on the sidewalk runs to these attorneys looking for their winning lottery ticket payout through the so-called "justice" system.

Surgeons love to operate on personal injury attorneys. Why? Because they are heartless, spineless and gutless and their heads and butts are interchangeable.

Sorry to vent but these staged and/or phantom accidents make me madder than hell.

G-Town's Comment
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Getting angry is not the answer. In fact, an emotional response plays right into their hands. The importance of this is preparation and having a plan in the event it's "you" being targeted.

I completely, 100% agree with Dave (the OP). Effective space management and situational awareness is absolutely essential as the primary preventative measure for this. No substitute.

Second the police must be called, do not move until they arrive. Do not offer any information or documentation to the accuser(s). Do not even engage with them or give them your name. Offer nothing to them but resistance, only cooperate with the Police once they arrive. Insist on an accident report and take pictures of their car and where they claim to have hit your truck. Make sure as part of the officer's investigation, the areas of alleged impact are thoroughly inspected and if allowed observe first-hand what is being looked at and note any comments. If you did make contact with them, the damage to their car should be fresh. Document the time and place (mile marker) where they claim the event occurred.

Most of our trucks have sophisticated telemetry devices for satellite tracking. At any given time our employers know where we are within plus or minus 3'. Fact. Check with your Driver Leader and/or Fleet Manager to understand their process for this sort of thing and what they recommend to protect your rights. Also during that discussion, determine if a time and relative location can be pinpointed of when this so-called crash occurred, see if it's possible to tag and review the satellite images. It will prove nothing happened. I am fairly sure this can be done with the systems installed on Swift trucks, I am verifying this. Hoping Big T and some of the other experienced Swifties can also comment on this.

This is one of the reasons why I shutter when newbs get all worked-up over camera equipment and other monitoring technology. We need all the help we can get...

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Bruce K.'s Comment
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Camera surveillance has been proven to reduce crime in most locations it’s installed. I suspect we will see more camera technology for trucks and trailers as problems like this continue to develop.

The suggestions of the OP and G-Town would be good to print and laminate and add to the log book for easy reference in case of an incident. I intend to do this in my truck.

Big T's Comment
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G-town is spot on. These people depend on the emotional response. The simple act of saying I'm sorry can turn into dollar signs in court: "why would they say sorry if they didn't do something wrong? "

Swift's policy is to call claims first. They will guide you on what to look for, what to photograph, who to talk to etc. Never admit guilt and don't talk to anyone besides the police.

They can pull drive cam footage and telematics from the system. The amount of information these trucks generate is incredible. Speed, acceleration, deceleration, rate of change, lane control, etc.

Most important is to remain calm. Emotions do not make hurt people better, broken things whole again, or change circumstances.

It is a good exercise to mentally prepare yourself in case you are involved in an accident. What is your company's policy?

I'll post some more later about a situation I was involved in during my first year driving.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Tractor Man's Comment
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He told how he was flagged down by a motorist on Interstate 10 a little over a year ago and informed that his 18-wheeler had sideswiped another vehicle.

I would NEVER pull over if being "flagged down" by a motorist. I don't care if it is a pregnant woman holding a baby. That could be a disaster waiting to happen. Armed robbery, cargo theft or worse. This is a good lesson in Following Distance, Situational Awareness (who/what is in front of you, on both sides, and behind you at all times.) I agree with G Town and the dashcams as well. They can really save your ass!

smile.gif

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Tractor Man said:

"I would NEVER pull over if being "flagged down" by a motorist. I don't care if it is a pregnant woman holding a baby. That could be a disaster waiting to happen. Armed robbery, cargo theft or worse." Good point.

That was exactly my thought as I was thinking more about this. It just didn't seem like the correct thing to do, pulling over. Forewarned is forearmed.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

My first trip into Queens I came upon a bridge that was posted as 12' 7". A quick math equation triggered the o.s. part of my brain and I stopped. I put on my flashers and my codriver and I got out to check the clearance because it looked tall enough, but it's numbers and mine didn't match.

During this situation a car rear ended me. Shortly after that one of those pick ups with a repo rig on it pulled up and offered to pull them off my DOT bumper and I could get on my way without involving cops.

Major red flag. Tow companies, especially repo rigs, are not out there because of their heart. They want to make a buck.

Also leaving the scene of an accident in a cmv is a major no no.

The police came out, took our statements, and cited the other driver. He explained that I'm allowed to stop and check clearances and rear end collisions are an at fault for the one in the rear.

A few months later I got a notice in the mail that I was being sued, along with CRST, for being criminally negligent.

I'm not sure what the end result was, but I'm pretty sure CRST settled out of court as was common. I never heard another thing about it.

That was 14 years ago. Like I've said this isn't anything new.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
DaveW's Comment
member avatar

This kind of scenario actually happened to me. I was running on I 205 leaving Tracy in Central California in my nice, shiny, new-looking, company fleet Freightliner when I got flagged down by an owner-operator driving a real rust bucket.

I pulled over because he could have been trying to warn me of a flat tire, or perhaps my trailer doors were not secured. Who knows, as a new driver I wasn't wanting to take the chance.

So, he proceeded to tell me that I had just cut him off and had ran him into some Jersey barriers on the side of the road as I was merging onto the highway. In my mind's eye I quickly reviewed the last few minutes, and didn't see how it could have been possible.

He then pointed to some dents and scrapes on his front bumper that were obviously from a previous encounter, as they were all rusted over. When he said I owed him for repairs to the damage I had caused I told him, "Good luck with that," and got back in my truck.

Looking back, I realize I probably should have taken some closeup photos of his "damage" just in case he had decided to contact my company to file a claim.

I don't disagree in general with the poster above who said to never stop for a flag down. But as a new driver at that time who had actually almost hit the road one time with trailer doors wide open I didn't want to take a chance.

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