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Rolling The Dice In Las Vegas.

Jun 13, 2008
I had just driven a brand new minivan, with 16 miles on the clock out of the rental lot. A short tour down the Vegas strip was followed by a quick left onto an empty no-name street. I gently rolled up to the Stop sign at the intersection. I didn't quite come to a complete stop, but as I accelerated away gently - Whamm!! S .it!! ! Out of nowhere an SUV ploughed into the minivan bending it like a banana. Getting out I could see the SUV was a mess, but its driver was worse.

The quiet street was suddenly a hive of activity. Everyone was screaming "You ran that Stop sign". No way! But it was starting to look ugly so I just kept my mouth shut and waited for the cops and medics to show up. Everyone seemed to be calling them. They were all screaming "This guy ran a stop sign and you had better get here quick, there is a guy in an SUV that's in a bad way". The guy in the SUV did look bad. I was sure he was going to die.

The cops and the ambulance eventually turned up, it seemed like an eternity but it was only a few minutes. I had a couple of beers on the plane to Las Vegas so I got to ride in back of the cop car while the other dude went in the ambulance. Sitting in the cell I was getting nervous. "Will I go to jail? What if this guy dies, his relatives will sue my ass. If he doesn't how am I going to pay? He will be in a coma for years not to mention the cost of the minivan."

Slowly my thoughts turned to the collision insurance that I turned down at the time of the rental. In the unlikely event of a car accident I thought my own car insurance would cover it. But when I went hunting for car insurance I went for the cheapest I could get. That cheap car insurance quote was about to come back to haunt me and the insurance that I ended up with would barely pay for a fender bender never mind two right offs and a coma.

It took a few hours before I got to speak to the detective. His broad smile caught me by surprise, and I was even more shocked when he said, \"Thanks!\" As I gaped at him, he explained that the SUV that hit me were a group that often run car insurance scams. Even the bystanders were involved! The detective said that the scam was called a \"T-bone\", and my accident was a textbook example. The scam driver runs through an intersection and forces a car accident. The payoff comes from the victim's insurance covering the scam driver's medical bills.

It turned out that the doctors at the hospital couldn't find anything seriously wrong with the SUV driver. All he had were some minor cuts and bruises. All the blood I'd seen was fake, and he had merely pretended he was severely injured. Having been given a clean bill of health, he was handed over directly to the waiting police officers. The cops had also gotten a few of his friends, who were acting as the bystanders in the scam. The scam act had been going on for quite awhile, maybe for too long, and it looked like it was done paying out for them.

In the world of car insurance scams, this scamming goes on all the time. The scams all have names like bands that I followed as a teenager; T-bone, Wave, and Sideswipe or how about Swoop and Squat! They are dangerous hoaxes, innocent people die and it costs honest people money by bumping up everyone's insurance.

In the end, I got off easy. The two beers I'd had on the plane didn't register on any of the tests the police gave me. I did have to pay for the minivan, but I let it serve as a lesson that when it comes to car insurance, you get what you pay for. If you take the cheap route, it might seem like you made a good choice until something like this happens. Paying a little more would have given me some peace of mind in the face of this accident. Take heed when you're out on the roads and keep an eye out for car insurance scams.
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