Personal injury fraud occurs when a person provides false information regarding a personal injury claim. It can also involve instances where a person files a claim for an injury that never occurred, or when they use false evidence to try and prove an injury.
Personal injury fraud can occur in many different contexts and in many different situations. Like other types of fraud, personal injury fraud is illegal and can result in serious legal consequences.
There are many ways that people attempt to engage in personal injury fraud. These may include:
- Filing false insurance claim information;
- Filing a frivolous lawsuit (i.e., for a claim that will more than likely fail in court);
- Fraud when applying for health care;
- Hiring a doctor to provide false testimony about an injury;
- Applying for disability or worker’s compensation using fake injury information;
- Exaggerating the extent of a legitimate injury;
- Using a previous injury as the basis of a new injury claim; and/or
- Filing for excessive amounts of damages.
Personal injury fraud can often involve other legal issues, including issues related to insurance, employment info, and other matters. Some common injuries that are faked include whiplash, shoulder/joint injuries, and spinal injuries.
This is because these types of injuries are often difficult to detect or measure in terms of seriousness of the injury at the time that the injury was caused.
Engaging in personal injury fraud can lead to some serious legal consequences. Like other types of fraud charges, this can result in criminal misdemeanor consequences such as criminal fines and jail time. Personal injury fraud can also result into the insurance company taking the following actions:
- Denying you award from any claim that you filed with them;
- Canceling your current insurance coverage;
- Revoking any settlement or insurance lawsuit award; and/or
- Filing a civil suit against you to collect damages.
In order to become liable for personal injury fraud, there must be intent to commit the fraud. There must have been intent on making a statement or presenting fraudulent evidence in order to cheat or defraud someone and knowing that you are doing it.
There are defenses that can be used to defend a personal injury In general, you must also have known that the statement or evidence presented was not truthful at the time you presented it. It is not fraud if:
- You made honest mistake when stating the facts of the accident;
- You had no intent when making the defrauding statement or giving fraudulent evidence; and
- You guessed that the information was true, but was not too sure and had no intent to lie.
Personal injury fraud can often involve a number of different legal issues, and can result in some very complex lawsuits. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need help with any personal injury fraud matters. Your attorney can help research the relevant laws and can inform you of how the laws in your area might affect your case.