When personal injuries and property damages occur, misrepresenting the causes or the severity of your injuries in an insurance claim could result in serious criminal charges.
When accidents involving injuries or property damage occur in Oklahoma, you may be entitled to compensation through an insurance claim. In these situations, it is important to seek help from our experienced Ponca City injury attorneys first, before making any statements to the insurer or their representatives. What you say during the claims process could impact your rights to compensation. It could also result in serious criminal charges if insurance fraud is suspected.
How Insurance Fraud Happens
Insurance fraud can happen due to unscrupulous and illegal practices of insurance companies and people claiming to represent them. It can also occur as a result of consumers providing false and misleading information when filing a claim. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), consumer fraud is a factor in roughly 10% of all claims filed and costs insurance companies billions of dollars each year. As a result, they are aggressive in their efforts at investigating claims. Common types of insurance fraud include:
● Auto insurance claims, in which motorists fail to admit blame for a crash or exaggerate the extent of the injuries suffered;
● Property insurance fraud, where exaggerating injuries or failing to reveal the true causes of an accident can benefit either the property owner or an injured party involved;
● Workers’ Compensation fraud, where an employee lies about an accident or their injuries to collect a greater amount of benefits.
To protect themselves against insurance fraud, claims representatives thoroughly review all aspects of a client’s case. They may visit the scene of an accident and talk to witnesses, obtain images or videos from nearby cameras, review medical records, and scour the claimant’s social media accounts to obtain information and reveal inconsistencies.
Penalties for Insurance Fraud
III research shows that an average of 20% of all insurance policy claimants admit to being less than honest when filing a claim. While exaggerating injuries or downplaying your role in an accident may seem relatively minor, it could end up resulting in serious criminal charges.
Under the Oklahoma Statutes, anyone providing false evidence to insurers or making misleading statements on claims could be charged with insurance fraud. This is considered a felony crime, punishable by up to three years in state prison. In addition to your sentence, you would also be facing fines that could equal up to two times the amount the insurance company is reported to have lost. If you are found guilty of insurance fraud involving a workers’ compensation claim, the penalties are even more severe. In addition to fines, you could be facing up to a 10-year prison sentence.
Let Our Ponca City, OK Attorneys Protect You
When dealing with insurance companies and their representatives, it is important to have someone on your side acting as a strong legal advocate. To protect your rights when filing a claim or to defend yourself against insurance fraud charges, call or contact BDIW Law online and schedule a consultation today.
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