Millions of fraud crimes occur each year. Staged accident fraud is one type of fraud offense many people tend to forget but is surprisingly common – especially in Florida.
Staged accident fraud occurs when an individual deliberately causes an accident to get insurance money. In most cases, this type of fraud is committed by a driver intentionally getting into an accident with an unwitting party. Some types of staged accident fraud involve multiple drivers who are in on the plan. The driver(s) may cut off the unwitting driver, forcing them into a collision. They may also get into a minor fender bender but claim more significant damages than what occurred.
Staged accidents may involve:
- A fake crash
- Fake injuries
- Fake witnesses
- Fake accident reports
Criminal Charges for Staged Accident Fraud
Individuals who plan and execute a staged accident risk facing multiple types of criminal charges. The most common charge for this offense is insurance fraud. Additionally, the suspect could be charged with aggravated assault if someone is injured during the staged accident. These are two serious criminal charges.
Felony insurance fraud can be punishable by:
- Jail time
- Civil penalties
Insurance fraud may also be elevated to a federal offense, resulting in even harsher penalties.
If injuries occur during the staged accident, the offense is also punishable by:
- Up to five years of incarceration
- Up to five years of probation
- Expensive fines
All of the penalties will further increase if the staged accident results in a fatality.
Daytona Beach Fraud Defense
According to the NICB, Florida ranks number one in the nation for staged accident fraud. If you are facing criminal charges after being accused of staging an auto accident, contact us at Hager & Schwartz, P.A.. Our insurance fraud defense attorneys can help.
Click here to see the numerous types of fraud and other criminal cases that our team can help you fight.