How A Personal Injury Claim Can Turn into Criminal Charges
If you file a fraudulent personal injury claim, you could face criminal charges. You may also be liable to the insurance company for any monies paid to you and for costs used to investigate the fraud.
How Can Fraud Occur in a Personal Injury Claim?
Insurance fraud in a personal injury case usually occurs when an act is carried out with the intention of causing an insurance company to compensate for an injury that doesn’t exist, is exaggerated or not related to an accident covered by the policy. Examples include:
- Planning or staging the theft of a vehicle, a collision or arson
- Exaggerating or faking injuries from an accident
Even if you refrain from lying or making false representations, you could still be guilty of fraudulently filing a claim should you fail to disclose information that you have a legal duty to disclose.
Types of Fraudulent Claims
There are two types of fraudulent claims that could see you facing criminal charges:
- Soft Insurance Fraud
Also known as “opportunistic” insurance fraud, this is the most common kind. It occurs when claimants make an inflated claim, such as exaggerating the extent of a back injury.
- Hard Insurance Fraud
This type of fraud is referred to as “premeditated” insurance fraud. It occurs when a claimant comes up with a way to make a claim, such as staging arson or intentionally causing an accident.
If you choose to file a dishonest claim, you could see yourself facing criminal charges, including a misdemeanor or a felony. Punishment tends to vary from state to state depending on the extent of the fraud.
- Misdemeanor Claims
Most fraudulent claims tend to be misdemeanors. This typically refers to if you have exaggerated your claim or happen to make a misrepresentation on the application. For instance, if you claim that your car has been stored in a garage when you have really always parked it on the street.
Misdemeanor criminal charges usually result in a fine of less than $15,000, probation and or even incarceration of less than a year.
- Felony Claims
If your fraudulent claim involves destroying property, you could face a criminal conviction. For instance, if you burn a car or stage a car accident to claim insurance payouts. Criminal charges for a felony can result in a fine as well as time in jail.
Call a Dement Askew Criminal Defense Attorney
If you know you’ve filed a deceitful claim for a personal injury and could be up against criminal charges, call an attorney.
The sooner you get in touch with an attorney at Dement Askew, the sooner we can start building your defense and aiming for lesser charges against you or have your case dismissed.
Whether you have committed a misdemeanor or a felony, criminal charges can have a negative effect on every aspect of your life. Give us a call today at (919) 833-5555 to start working on your case.