Insurance fraud is among the most commonly-committed crimes in the United States, and can have state as well as federal consequences. If you are currently accused of falsifying a claim, contact a Chattanooga insurance fraud lawyer. An experienced fraud attorney who routinely represents clients charged with unlawful insurance activities provides dedicated legal counsel necessary to proving your innocence.
When you file an insurance claim, you expect the agency to honor the claim and provide coverage. And while an investigation is part of every claims process, such as inspecting a car that was recently involved in an accident, some insurance companies do everything possible to avoid paying. They deny claims, often without explanation, and only investigate if their clients take legal action. Others make fraud accusations. Rather than allowing the insurance company to get away with false accusations, speak with a talented legal representative.
Legal representatives note that insurance fraud comes in two main forms: soft and hard. Soft fraud concerns the exaggeration of claim facts to insurance companies, such as claiming a burglar stole thousands in electronics when the intruder got away with only the television. Claiming extensive vehicular damage following a minor fender bender provides another example of soft insurance fraud.
Hard fraud occurs when a person intentionally fakes an accident, injury, theft, or arson to obtain healthcare, homeowner, or auto insurance money. In terms of life insurance, a person can claim policy holder died or even commit murder to receive the payout. Such cases are extreme, but sadly they still happen.
According to Title 56 Insurance, Chapter 53, Section 102 of the Tennessee Code, it is a crime for consumers to intentionally defraud an entity for “money or other value,” or furnish claim information featuring falsified facts. For insurers, it is a crime to falsify material facts when selling insurance. It is also a crime to remove or destroy insurance records, embezzle insurance funds, and falsify the insurer’s financial condition. Those found guilty of insurance fraud face criminal, civil, and administrative penalties in light of case specifics.
Criminal penalties include misdemeanor and felony charges depending on the amount of money procured through fraudulent means. Class A Misdemeanors concern $500 or less in property gained, with penalties including fines of $2,500 or less and up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. Felonies include:
Civil court penalties typically include paying court and investigative costs, penalty fees ranging from $100 to $10,000, as well as any other economic damages incurred. Administrative penalties can include temporary or permanent revocation of professional licenses. A local attorney could review the facts of the case and help build a strong defense.
Defend yourself against your agency’s accusation by working with a Chattanooga insurance fraud lawyer. Our firm offers their experience, knowledge, and dedication, and works with investigators, witnesses, and agencies to formulate viable defenses.
Call us today to learn how we could help you fight an insurance fraud charge.