Bogus Rear-End Collision Claim in Surrey: Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Back in May, Wieslaw Jagielski was stopped at a red light near a relatively busy intersection. He had stopped behind a red pick-up truck and was waiting for a green light to turn left. Suddenly, the driver of the pick-up truck in front of him shifted into reverse and backed right into the front of his SUV. Fortunately, there wasn’t much damage—just as bent license plate and frame—but nothing could have prepared Jagielski for the drama that was yet to unfold.

Shortly after the incident, he received two ICBC notices, explaining that he would need to provide his side of the story and prove that he didn’t rear-end the pick-up truck. He was surprised to learn that the burden would be on him to prove his innocence, rather than on the driver who backed into his vehicle.

Fortunately, Jagielski was able to obtain traffic camera footage that easily proved he was not at-fault for the accident, but not without spending nearly $400 for a copy of the footage to provide in court.

Unfortunately, insurance fraud incidents such as this one are becoming increasingly common in B.C., with fraud investigations having doubled from 5,000 to 10,000 this year alone. Dishonest drivers try to take advantage of the system by staging accidents in the hopes that they’ll be able to collect an insurance claim.

Advice for Drivers

You may think that a situation like Jagielski’s would never happen to you, but with insurance fraud scams becoming so common, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. By having a trusted legal team that you can turn to for guidance and representation in the event of an accident, you can enjoy added peace of mind behind the wheel. Some drivers also choose to invest in dashboard cameras, though it’s important to remember that dashboard footage can also prove your guilt in an accident. If you have a dashboard camera and are in an accident, it is always advised that you consult with a lawyer before telling anybody about the recording.

If you have recently been victimized by a situation like this or if you have simply been injured in an auto accident that was not your fault, make sure you have the right legal team on your side. Becker, Lavin, & Wessler have more than 50 years of combined experience and are here to assist you with nine convenient area offices. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.

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