There is a scam going on around Georgia that while not new, has been gaining more traction just recently. The scam involves those who rent U-Haul trucks and then purposely get into an accident to collect the insurance money. And those who participate in the scam will not only face serious repercussions from U-Haul and local law enforcement but could also possibly become seriously hurt.
The scam works like this. One person rents a U-Haul truck, making sure they take out the insurance on it. They then drive it to another location to meet another vehicle. The driver of this second vehicle is always in on the scheme. The truck and the other vehicle intentionally get into an accident and the U-Haul driver claims fault for that accident. Insurance is paid out, sometimes for supposed injuries that passengers in the second vehicle claim, and those involved walk away with the insurance money.
Recently, 43 people around the state have been arrested and charged for staging these accidents. Those found guilty may end up paying about $75,000 in court and conviction costs and face up to one to 30 years of probation. But those who take part in the scam may end up facing even worse consequences.
Accidents that involve any type of truck can be very serious. They are unpredictable and even when they have been carefully planned, those involved in the accident can become seriously injured. If the insurance company learns that the accident was part of a scheme, they will likely not pay out benefits, leaving those on the hook for covering the cost of the injuries that were not part of the plan.
The scam has been around for some time but currently in Georgia it is not considered to be a crime ring. A ring requires the same individuals participating in an organized scheme, but this scam has been spread through word of mouth with one person attempting it, telling others, and then those people also attempting to take part in the scam.
But as that word of mouth spreads, U-Haul is also becoming more aware of the scam. And when they catch renters trying to participate in them, they will levy their own consequences. All these penalties and any potential injuries incurred make it very clear that attempting a U-Haul scam is not worth it for anyone.
Attorney Jeff Shiver, co-founder of Shiver Hamilton, has committed his practice to serious personal injury cases of all types. Attorney Shiver has been named a Super Lawyer by Atlanta Magazine and Super Lawyers for the past ten years. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter.