Insurance fraud is typically perpetrated by an individual who wants to bilk money out of their provider for something that they actually did to themselves or their property. For example, a homeowner might set their house on fire in order to collect a settlement from their insurance company. However, an emerging version of insurance fraud involves identity theft. In these cases, a criminal steals enough personal information about their victim to file a fraudulent claim with the unsuspecting individual’s insurance company. Unfortunately, this could end up causing the victim to deal with legal issues.
Can I be Held Responsible for a Criminal’s Actions?
Insurance fraud is common, and this tends to sway the opinion of judges. After all, people from all walks of life and financial backgrounds have committed this type of fraud in the past, and that makes it easy for a judge or jury to believe that the victim could have been the perpetrator. Therefore, it is essential to contact law enforcement as soon as you discover that something improper has occurred. By taking this proactive step, you will have a better chance of clearing your name.
How can I Watch Out for Insurance Fraud?
The criminal will take steps to ensure that the money is sent directly to them. However, it is still likely that you will receive a phone call, letter or email that mentions the reported incident. If you receive any communication from your provider that does not make sense to you, it is important to contact your agent immediately. In fact, if you respond quickly enough, you might even be able to prevent your insurance company from issuing a check to the criminal.
Unfortunately, waiting to be contacted by your provider is not a foolproof method. Because of this, it is also a good idea to keep a close eye on your premium increases. After all, if your premium suddenly shoots up, you should ask your agent what caused the price increase. If they mention anything about a claim that you did not actually make, you will need to take action right away.
How to Defend Yourself from Insurance Fraud Claims
Sadly, it is possible for an innocent person to end up in a court of law to face insurance fraud charges. Your best bet is to hire a defense attorney, local to the area of where the charge is made, who has experience with insurance fraud cases. For example, if you live in central Florida, then a criminal defense lawyer Orlando FL based will be knowledgeable about all local, state and federal laws in regards to insurance fraud. You should also gather any evidence that will help exonerate you. For example, if an insurance claim was made while you were on vacation, you can submit all of the applicable receipts and ticket stubs that can help verify that you were not the person who filed the claim.
Dealing with an insurance fraud claim typically requires a skilled lawyer and a calm demeanor. After all, the judge is less likely to hear your story if you allow yourself to become angry during the trial. Instead, you need to rely on the fact that the truth is on your side and stick to the facts. By doing this, and with the help of a local criminal defense lawyer to handle all the legal proceedings, one will be able to defend such accusations.
Legal writer Lisa Coleman writes to inform others about the legalities of dealing with insurance when there are signs of fraudulent activities. Katz & Phillips, P.A., is a criminal defense lawyer Orlando FL based law firm, that is knowledgeable and equipped to defend a person who is a victim and is charged with fraudulent insurance activities.
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