Automobile Insurance Fraud
It is the responsibility of every driver on the road to maintain adequate insurance coverage for the vehicles he or she intends to operate. Failure to maintain financial responsibility for your vehicle often results in fines and liability if you are involved in an accident. Although most people make sure to responsibly report insurance claims, some individuals may choose to “cheat” the system and attempt to gain compensation illegally.
Persons who falsely report damage to their vehicles or exaggerate the amount of damage that was caused in a collision may be found guilty of insurance fraud. The temptation may exist because car insurance often provides funds for the replacement of parts and damage done to the body of the vehicle. By reporting non-existent or minor damage, policy owners may attempt to collect money that they do not intend to spend on the repair of their vehicle.
More drastic cases may involve owners who intentionally cause major damage to their own vehicles to collect payments or have their car “totaled” by the insurer to collect money or escape liability for their auto loan. Instances of such fraudulent actions include setting fire to the car, flooding the vehicle, or causing serious body damage to the vehicle in an intentional manner.
Another dangerous method that is occasionally reported is the intentional damage inflicted to a vehicle through reckless driving on the roadway. Drivers have been known to stop suddenly or put their vehicle in the way of another driver to intentionally cause a collision that looks to be the other person’s fault. Such actions are dangerous to all persons involved and are a drastic form of insurance fraud.
One of the most reckless examples of insurance fraud is causing or allowing the outright theft of a motor vehicle. In some cases, drivers may leave the car keys in the ignition or in a conspicuous spot in the hopes of tempting a thief to take the vehicle. Other instances have shown drivers arranging the theft of their vehicle with associates or acquaintances. In any case, the purposeful loss of a car or other vehicle typically constitutes serious insurance fraud.
If you have been wrongly accused of insurance fraud, you have the right to defend yourself in a court of law. There may have been mitigating circumstances surrounding your claim, or the evidence may show that your claim was completely valid. If you would like to know more about insurance fraud and criminal trials, visit the website of the Austin criminal defense attorney Ian Inglis.