According to Bloomberg News (June 28, 2010), insurance fraud in Florida has reached new levels as more and more policyholders are intentionally causing auto accidents to generate medical claims. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that “staged” accidents in the state of Florida climbed 58 percent to nearly 2,000 in 2009. Tampa is one of the cities where many reports of fraud have been filed recently, with the number of intentional accidents quadrupling in this city alone last year.
Throughout the state, insurance companies are taking a hard look at crashes that may show signs of fraud. In addition to pursuing drivers, a conglomerate insurance board called U.S. Car Insurers is also on the lookout for doctors who engage in these schemes and who are suspected of medical claim fraud. According to the USCI, auto insurance fraud for coverage of bodily injury totaled between $4.8 billion and $6.8 billion in 2007, and they are looking to reduce that amount drastically by cracking down on guilty parties. In the process, some people who have legitimate claims are being refused adequate coverage or are being made to jump through hoops just to receive compensation for their injuries.
Experts believe the economic hard times since 2007 may be to blame for the recent surge in deliberate car accidents in Florida. The insurance industry is now looking to raise insurance rates across the board in order to cover the costs of fraud. In addition, other drivers on the road have to be extra cautious of people willing to cause accidents to receive payments for medical care they don’t need.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando or any other Florida community, it is vital that you contact a reliable auto accident attorney to fight for your case. A lawyer can help you defend your rights against an insurance company or another driver who isn’t willing to pay what you’re owed.
The Law offices of Lazarus and Lazarus, P.A. frowns upon fraud of any kind, especially insurance fraud, which makes it more difficult for our clients who have legitmate claims. If you know of anyone engaging in Insurance fraud, please contact the Florida Dept. Of Law Enforcement immediately.