Insurance fraud on the rise in Florida
Individuals are being targeted for submitting false medical claims and staging care accidents within the state.
Florida drivers know that the state’s roadways can present several unique challenges to motorists, especially in cities like Orlando. Locals and tourists will both be traveling in these areas. This can sometimes lead to accidents that can tie up traffic for long stretches of time, and make it much more difficult for people to get around.
In most cases, these accidents are investigated by law enforcement, and the parties involved exchange insurance information. Things proceed normally, and the matter receives no extra attention. However, in some of these crashes, some of the individuals may claim to be seriously injured, and submit extensive medical claims to their insurance companies, which can raise red flags with investigators.
Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people arrested for insurance fraud in Florida. In one case, a man was arrested after submitting over $20,000 worth of claims for medical care after his vehicle was hit in a traffic accident. It is believed that the man was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash, according to witness statements and the police report. He is facing a potential five-year prison sentence if convicted.
Another case led to several arrests after authorities alleged the staging of a multi-vehicle crash. A truck crashed into a mini-van, which had eight passengers inside. Each of the passengers filed insurance claims, which totaled over $80,000. The state also highlighted a conviction of an individual who stages these kinds of accidents, resulting in a prison sentence along with an order to reimburse the insurance companies for the more than $100,000 in claims they had processed.
These cases show just how serious Florida is about pursuing these kinds of crimes. Officials state that these offenses hurt other residents because they drive up insurance costs, and have made cracking down on these offenders a top priority. According to the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud, the state’s insurance fraud arrests are up 17 percent during the current fiscal year.
If you have been charged with a fraud-related crime, you need to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Many people think they can answer the questions of the investigators, and that this will help them later in their case. What they fail to understand is that this information is all very beneficial to prosecutors, who may use this as evidence to obtain a conviction.
You should never answer any questions until you have had the opportunity to consult an attorney. With the assistance of your lawyer, you can immediately begin preparing a strong defense to these allegations. You need to realize that these are extremely serious matters, and if you are convicted, you could be facing a significant prison sentence, as well as very costly fines.
Keywords: insurance fraud, false medical claims, criminal defense