When most people think of insurance fraud, they think of unscrupulous people scamming companies by filing fraudulent claims. But there is another side of insurance fraud, one that directly affects innocent people like you. These types of schemes and scams drive up your insurance rates and worse: create unsafe conditions that can leave you hurt, maimed or even dead. When searching for an attorney for personal injury cases, Gainesville residents should make sure that they speak with a lawyer who is well-versed in all types of insurance fraud so that you will receive every penny you are entitled to. Steven A. Bagen Law Firm is a personal injury law firm with offices in Gainesville and Ocala, Florida.
Common Insurance Fraud Schemes
While the amount and scope of actual insurance schemes out there is immeasurable, there are some common scams which are seen far too often. If you were injured in an accident and suspect any of the following played a part in the incident, by hiring a competent attorney for personal injury, Gainesville residents can get the maximum amount of money they deserve.
- Cars that have been in accidents often deploy their airbags meaning that when the automobile goes in for repairs, the shop will have to replace the airbag. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous shops around the country will replace the airbag with knockoff airbags or worse: literally fill the airbag with garbage. This saves them on the costs of the unit and the labor since they aren't actually incurring any costs. They then bill both you and the insurance company for the full price as if they had done the job correctly and you're left with an unsafe car. This problem can be compounded when you buy a used car and assume the airbag installed is in good working condition. By finding an attorney for personal injury Gainesville residents ensure that if you've been in a car accident where the airbags deployed, you are fully compensated in the event your car has been compromised.
- It's not just companies that are running insurance fraud schemes on you - strangers are as well. For example, motorists on the road might be luring you into accidents where you will be at fault. They then file claims and collect the money while your insurance rates go up, you get points on your license and you run the risk of serious injury. Some common schemes are the "swoop and squat" (two motorists work together to trap you into a rear-end collision), the "drive down" (where you're lured into an early turn and then crashed into), the "wave down" (where someone signals you to go and then crashes into you) and the "pump up" (where the other motorist damages their car further to collect more money from you. All of these insurance fraud schemes are extremely costly to you. By searching for an attorney for personal injury Gainesville residents can cut through these scams - when the right lawyer is on your side.
- Even the insurance agents you trust to make sure that your safety is ensured and your valuables are protected can get in on the scam. Some agents who are "on the take" will pocket your payments and set up fake insurance papers for you. Then, when you get into an accident, the real truth comes out: you have no insurance, the agent is nowhere to be found and you're stuck with all of the costs of the accident and medical bills. On the flip side of this coin, agents can also "slide" insurance costs into your policy, making you pay for coverage that you either don't want or don't need.
- But it doesn't end there - even the tow trucks that you call for help after an accident can get in on the scam. Independent towing companies can charge exorbitant amounts of money for their services, oftentimes telling you that your insurance covers it when it doesn't. Then, the company will hold your car hostage until you pay hundreds of dollars in outrageous costs and fees that multiply the longer you don't pay.
Attorney for Personal Injury in Gainesville, Florida
As you can see, there are tons of ways that you can be scammed out of your money, have your life put in danger, or have your property damaged with no recourse. This is why it's so important that in any incident that results in personal injury, speaking with a competent lawyer before you speak with the insurance company is paramount. By finding an attorney for personal injury, Gainesville residents will ensure that they have the best resources on their side.
That means that if any insurance fraud has taken place, your lawyer will find it and make sure you are not responsible for outrageous claims and that you get every penny that you deserve. Don't get caught up in a situation that you didn't cause without a personal injury lawyer on your side.