In the United States, fake insurance claims cost Americans tens of billions of dollars a year. Those who follow the trends think that the poor economy is at least partly to blame for all of the false claims and attempted scams. As a result, insurance companies have begun to pay close attention to claims of accidents and injury.
A Recent False Claim Ring Bust
Very recently insurers and law officials worked together to break up a very large ring of insurance fraudsters. 46 people were charged with falsifying claims of injury. It is thought that there are still over 23 people still to be charged and on the run. They would pick a sidewalk with a large and visible crack in it. Then, the ‘victim’ would stage a fall. This particular false fall claims ring was run by a particular lawyer and paid local homeless people small sums of money upfront. Over seven years the group managed to defraud some 400,000 dollars out of more than 20 insurance companies.
After the ring was busted, the man in charge committed suicide instead of facing his possible jail time and massive fines.
All Claims Are Investigated
High levels of fraudulent personal injury claims have led to the industry becoming very inquisitive. Just thirty years ago just tossing on a fake neck brace and getting a phony doctor’s slip may have been enough to cash in on a false fall claim. Today, companies will look very carefully at any and all medical evidence of an injury. In fact, the company may even actually send out a Private Investigator (PI).
Many companies today keep a PI on staff to investigate fishy or borderline cases. And just like in the movies, the PI will watch your every move, searching for evidence that your injury is faked. If you are found out, the PI may even testify as to just how your injury was exaggerated or faked.
One common fraud is perpetuated by unscrupulous lawyers. You may be legitimately injured in a minor fashion after a fall. Soon, your phone is ringing off the hook with calls from so-called accident lawyers who are promising to help you get massive amounts of money because of just how badly you were hurt. They may promise to help you out and even give you a cut of the profits. These kinds of lawyers are almost always well known to your insurance company. Your doctor may also get you into trouble, too. Just think, if the doctor is willing to exaggerate or falsify a fall claim for you, he or she has probably done it many times before. This means that your insurance company is probably very familiar with their dishonest ways.
Any doctor’s notes or insurance forms submitted by such a doctor or lawyer will be subjected to very close scrutiny. These dishonest people are one of the biggest flags to a company that an accidental fall claim is faked. Never try to exaggerate a real injury, it just doesn’t pay. Today, most companies subscribe to a service called ISO ClaimSearch. This database tracks all claims made by anyone. If you try to submit a false fall claim, the system may be able to detect it and notify authorities.
Consequences of False Fall Claims
False fall claims cost insurance companies so much money that they have had to pass the costs onto their customers. You are paying between 300 to 700 dollars more a year in premiums because other people have lied and taken advantage of the system. If caught, you will face severe penalties. First, you will have to return any payments you may have received. You may also have to pay large fines for your lie, too. Finally, insurance fraud carries the possibility of jail time. See here for more information on fraud charges.