Florida’s no fault insurance law requires that every motorist carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance. In the event of a Sarasota car accident, the injured motorist is compensated by his or her own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. While the intent behind this law was to reduce the number of lawsuits among Florida motorists, an unfortunate result has also been a large amount of insurance fraud.
The Insurance Information Institute theorizes that no fault insurance laws send the message to motorists that if they are in an accident, they will receive compensation regardless of the circumstances. Unfortunately, the money more often goes to medical practitioners and referral services who scout clients. These referral services often send people to pain management clinics that are often not overseen by a doctor.
How does this result in dishonest motorists using the Florida no fault insurance law to defraud the system? The following are a few examples:
- Pain clinics that exist solely to fraudulently bill insurance companies
- Car owners who conspire with auto body shops to set off air bags, helping to total a vehicle that they no longer want to make payments on
- Motorists claiming an accident occurred when it never did
- Motorists who have someone drive a car into a tree and thereafter claiming it was damaged by a hit-and-run
- Inventing an accident to explain existing damage to an automobile
- Organized crime fraud rings where several people climb into a car and deliberately drive recklessly, causing an innocent motorist to rear-end the vehicle
- Members of a fraud ring who then claim that everyone in the car sustained soft-tissue injuries that would not show up on x-rays
Unfortunately, insurance fraud does not just hurt insurance companies. The expense of insurance fraud is passed on to innocent people through increased insurance premiums.
To learn more about Florida insurance laws, contact an experienced Sarasota car accident attorney. Complete our online submission form or call our office at (888) 409-3805 for a complimentary consultation.