If a person commits insurance fraud, there is the possibility that the claim will be denied, coverage will be canceled and, worst of all, the act will be reported to the authorities leading to criminal prosecution, fines and possible prison time.
Types of Insurance Fraud
With any type of insurance, there is the chance that a company will suspect fraud for claims that are legitimate. It can occur with automobile insurance, health insurance, disability claims, life insurance and Medicaid or Medicare. It is becoming more and more prevalent for insurance companies to try and find ways to refrain from paying policyholders for their claims, legitimate or not. Due in part to a sluggish economy and new laws being implemented, there is significant motivation for insurers to save money. Insurance fraud can lead to severe penalties with as much as ten years in prison for the person accused of the crime if he or she is convicted.
In New Jersey, if a person is charged with insurance fraud, it is a crime in the third degree. If there are five or more instances of insurance fraud, plus the accumulated value of benefits, services, or property acquired is worth at least $1,000, it is a crime in the second degree.
Legal fraud results in a conviction when the following factors are proven: facts have been misrepresented; the defendant is aware that there was a misrepresentation; the defendant's intent was that the insurer would rely on the misrepresented information; there is reliance on the insurer; and harm resulted due to the fraud.
It is naïve to think that there is not insurance fraud happening every day in New Jersey. People stage car accidents to collect money; they make medical claims that are not valid or necessary; they commit disability fraud in order to avoid work and receive settlements; and fraudulent commercial claims in events such as fires are made. Being convicted of insurance fraud is a costly endeavor and will make life difficult moving forward, not just because of fines and possible jail time, but due to the ramifications of having this type of conviction on one's record. A conviction for insurance fraud could make it difficult for one to get insurance or increase one's insurance costs if it is able to be obtained.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Insurance Fraud Defense
Have you been accused of insurance fraud in Monmouth County, Ocean County or anywhere else in New Jersey? If so, you should seek legal advice from the law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.
The crime of insurance fraud affects everyone in New Jersey. Perhaps you have been accused of the crime and need legal assistance to prove your innocence and receive compensation for your claim, or maybe you made a mistake and are facing prosecution for a decision you made that has resulted in a charge of insurance fraud. There are many times where people simply put the wrong information down on their insurance forms and it's an honest mistake. In any case, you have rights and must protect them with the representation of an experienced attorney. Contact Villani & DeLuca to discuss and evaluate your case today.