Insurance companies have a well-earned reputation for being difficult to deal with. Bitterness over company practices, a desire to get even, and the potential to make a profit can lead people to file inflated or exaggerated claims. It can also lead them to stage accidents with the primary goal of collecting a settlement. As a result, you could be facing felony charges. Get our San Jose criminal defense attorney on your side to prevent the serious penalties you may be facing from an insurance fraud charge.
Insurance Fraud a Common Type of Crime
Recently, we reported on a case involving a San Jose man accused of setting fires to various properties in the area for the purpose of collecting insurance payments. This is one of several common types of insurance fraud. According to the California Department of Insurance, fraud occurs anytime a person attempts to claim benefits they are not otherwise entitled to through an insurance policy they or others have in place.
In addition to property insurance fraud, which may involve staging fires, vandalism, or theft crimes, other common types of insurance fraud include:
- Auto Insurance Fraud: This can involve staging car accidents, exaggerating the injuries suffered, and hiding a vehicle or selling it to a “chop shop” so it can be claimed as stolen.
- Disaster Fraud: This involves claiming to suffer damage as a result of a local, state, or national disaster that you were actually not involved in.
- Fraud Involving Premises Liability Claims: This involves falsely claiming that injuries occurred on another person’s property for the purpose of filing a claim.
- Health Insurance Fraud: A common type of fraud among health care professionals, this involves overbilling or referring patients for unneeded procedures for the purpose of collecting insurance payments.
- Life Insurance Fraud: This involves misrepresenting or lying about your relationship with someone for the purpose of obtaining life insurance payments or faking your own or another’s death.
Penalties You Could Be Facing For Insurance Fraud
Even when committed on a relatively small scale, the penalties for insurance fraud can be severe. Under Article 1 of the California Insurance Code, making any type of false or fraudulent claims to an insurer for the purpose of receiving payments could leave you facing felony charges, resulting in the following penalties:
- Heavy fines and court costs
- Payment of restitution to the insurance company and any other victims involved
- A potentially lengthy jail sentence, which can vary depending on the type of fraud, the amount of the payments you received, and whether anyone was injured in the process
Contact Our San Jose Attorneys Today for Help
If you have been accused of any type of insurance fraud, it is important to reach out to the Jachimowicz Law Group right away. We act as a strong legal ally on your side, protecting you against the serious penalties you are likely facing. To schedule a free consultation, call 408-550-1732 or contact our skilled San Jose criminal defense attorneys online today.