Even though most people are honest, insurance scams are an ongoing problem in the Las Vegas area. Insurance scams can be frustrating for victims, and they raise the rates for everyone who buys insurance. When you’re in an accident, you just want to make a fair claim for recovery, but what if you become the victim of a car accident insurance scam in Las Vegas?
Most Common Car Insurance Scams
Many common car insurance scams are subtle. It’s easy to become a victim and not even realize it. It’s important to be vigilant in the claims process in order to avoid becoming a victim twice. How do you know if you’re the victim of a car insurance scam? Here are six of the most common car accident insurance scams:
1. Forced Rear-Ending/Staged Rear-Ending Insurance Fraud
Some scammers go so far as to cause accidents in order to make fraudulent insurance claims. They might quickly swerve in front of you in traffic. Then, they stop suddenly. If you’re unable to stop, the accident is generally considered your fault because you’re the one behind the other vehicle. Once the crash occurs, the driver complains of neck and back pain. It’s important to carefully evaluate the events of the accident and review the medical evidence if you expect this type of insurance scam.
2. Tow Company Insurance Fraud
Tow companies can commit insurance fraud, too. They might arrive on the scene of the accident before you even call them. Then, you’re shocked when you receive a large bill or they try to charge your insurance company an unfair amount for their services. Only work with a tow company that you contact yourself. Be wary of anyone who arrives on the scene unsolicited to offer towing services.
3. Car Accident Repair Insurance Fraud
When you take your vehicle for repairs, you must be careful of insurance fraud. The repair company might try to claim that you need repairs that aren’t necessary. They might charge unreasonable prices for their replacement parts. You should only work with a repair company that you trust. You have a right to inspect your vehicle and get a second opinion. Make sure that what the insurance company says makes sense when you’re making arrangements for vehicle repairs.
4. Phantom Victims that Weren’t in the Crash
Some scammers will try to add people that they claim are involved in the crash who aren’t involved at all. The accident may involve a single driver in the other vehicle. Then, later, you notice that there are two or three people claiming damages from the crash. These people may not have even been in the accident at all.
You can look at the photos of vehicle damage to review how many people may have been in the accident. The police report may also be helpful. It’s good to take photos of the accident scene if you can. If these people are nowhere to be found in photos or the police report, it’s evidence that you’re the victim of an insurance scam. If anything seems amiss, follow up to make sure that those involved in the accident claim are indeed accident victims.
5. Staged Accidents
There are many ways that unscrupulous drivers stage accidents in order to run insurance scams. A driver with the right of way might seem nice by waiving you into traffic. Then, they run into you on purpose. The same thing can happen when someone waves you into a parking space. It’s crucial to proceed only when you have the right of way. Leave plenty of space for vehicles around you.
6. Counterfeit Repairs
Vehicle repair shops aren’t always honest. They might use knock-off parts when they perform repairs. Counterfeit parts in repairs are ultimately a risk to your safety, especially when the fit and function of the parts are not what they claim. This could also result in more expensive repairs down the road.
Penalties for Insurance Fraud in Nevada
Insurance fraud is a crime under Nevada law. It’s a serious felony offense that can result in up to four years in prison. Other penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution. A felony conviction remains on the offender’s record for the rest of their life. Nevada’s insurance fraud law is Nevada Revised Statute 686A.2815.
Under Nevada’s insurance fraud law, it’s illegal to knowingly offer misleading or false information to an insurance agent in connection with applying for an insurance policy or making an insurance claim. It’s also illegal to get another person to do the same thing. Both the insured and any third parties making a claim on an insurance policy must provide honest, forthright information. Any kind of intentional dishonesty is against Nevada law.
Nevada courts take insurance fraud seriously. They appreciate the economic impact that insurance fraud has on victims and on society as a whole. In addition to a criminal offense, an insurance fraud victim has civil remedies that they may pursue against the scammers.
What Do I Do if I’m the Victim of a Car Accident Insurance Fraud Scam?
There are a number of things to do if you’re the victim of a car insurance fraud scam or if you even suspect insurance fraud. First, keep copies of everything. If you have photos, receipts or other documentation, keep it. When you speak to other parties including those that you suspect of fraud, make notes of your conversation.
Next, make a report. The Nevada Attorney General’s Office accepts fraud complaints. You may call them directly or use their online complaint form. You may also report insurance fraud to your local police. Finally, you can work with your attorney to prevent yourself or others from falling victim to insurance scams after a Nevada car accident.
Contact our Nevada Insurance Fraud Attorneys
Do you worry that you might be the victim of insurance fraud? Have you been in a car accident? Our attorneys can help.
We’ve helped thousands of accident victims just like you, and we want to help you too. If you suspect insurance fraud in your case, contact our understanding and aggressive car accident attorneys. We can help you evaluate your case, make reports to the proper authorities and protect your rights. Contact us today to talk about your case right away.