San Leandro Insurance Fraud Lawyer
Since insurance fraud is taken very seriously by lawmakers in California, enforcement of fraud violations may be very vigorous in San Leandro. There are many types of insurance fraud, including cases involving automobile insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and health insurance.
Because fraud has a great impact on the insurance industry and costs are passed along to consumers, the state legislature took extra steps to discourage it. These steps include enabling insurance regulators to work together with state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent and combat fraud.
If you are facing charges involving insurance fraud, you may be investigated by a number of serious professionals. It may be wise to have legal assistance from a San Leandro insurance fraud lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help build a solid defense and enable you to work toward a positive resolution to your case.
Defining Insurance Fraud in California
California Insurance Code §1871.4—as well as similar provisions in the California Penal Code—prohibits individuals from making statements to insurance companies that are “knowingly false or fraudulent.” Such statements may be made for the purpose of obtaining or denying compensation for that individual or for another party, and the statements may be written or oral. The statutes prohibit individuals from assisting another person in committing insurance fraud.
“Statements” are defined in CPC §1871.4 to potentially include any evidence of loss, injury, expense or payment, similar to a medical bill, proof of payment, medical records, test results, x-rays, or notice. While the Insurance Code provides general laws governing insurance fraud, additional fraud provisions that an insurance fraud lawyer in San Leandro may be familiar with and could help you comprehend are found in California Penal Code §550 and California Labor Code §3700.5.
Examples of Deceit
Since there are many different forms of insurance to protect against different types of loss, it may naturally follow that there are many types of insurance fraud. Some examples of insurance fraud that are common in San Leandro may include:
- Falsely reporting a car theft to collect auto insurance payments
- Inflating the value of damage to property to obtain extra money
- Intentionally setting a fire to property for the purpose of obtaining insurance payments
- Faking an injury to receive workers’ compensation payments
- Altering a doctor’s report to make an injury appear more serious in order to receive additional compensation
- Falsely claiming damage to property that was either not damaged or damaged outside of coverage periods
- Intentionally causing a motor vehicle accident to obtain insurance payments
- Helping another person file a fraudulent claim
- Presenting multiple claims for the same injury or loss
A San Leandro insurance fraud lawyer could help a person facing fraud allegations understand under what context they were accused of such behavior, and how to defend against such claims.
An Allegation May Be Treated as a Felony or Misdemeanor
When insurance fraud is prosecuted under CPC §550, the potential penalties depend on the type of insurance fraud and the amount fraudulently collected. If the fraud involves a health care benefit worth $950 or less and the individual charged has no prior convictions, the offense may be treated as a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
In cases involving other circumstances, such as false claims for payment, intentional automobile accidents, or multiple claims for the same loss, the offense may be treated as a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to double the amount of the loss or $50,000, whichever is greater. In such a case, strong representation from an insurance fraud lawyer in San Leandro could be critical to your future prospects and personal freedom.
Get Help from a San Leandro Insurance Fraud Attorney
When the potential penalties are great and the team prosecuting the alleged fraud is experienced, it may be vital to obtain experienced legal advice as soon as possible to protect your rights and start collecting and preserving vital evidence. A dedicated San Leandro insurance fraud lawyer could help explain your charges and your options fo defense, and then advocate on your behalf every step of the way to help you achieve a successful outcome. Call now to get started.