Insurance Fraud: What Not to Do During Your Personal Injury Case – Part II

Our Virginia Beach personal injury law firm recently shared a story about a woman in Ireland who had her $823,000 car accident claim thrown out after the insurance company revealed photos of her participating in a Christmas tree-throwing competition. Details can be found here: Christmas Tree Throwing: What Not to Do During Your Personal Injury Case.

We thought we had heard it all after reading about that case, but we cannot believe the bizarre story where a student let a friend persuade him to get his legs amputated as part of an insurance fraud scheme!  Our injury law firm prides itself on accepting only real, serious personal injury claims, but this story takes the cake for the insane worship of money and how crazy our world is.

According to news media reports, a 23-year-old university student in Taiwan has been charged with insurance fraud for his attempt to claim $1.3 million in insurance payouts. According to police, last January, the student and a friend who was in on the insurance fraud plot drove around the city on a motorbike so they could claim the man had developed frostbite (even though the city is not located in a sub-zero climate. After driving around, the student soaked his feet in dry ice for 10 hours. He was later admitted to the hospital, where medical staff ended up amputating both his legs.

fraudHowever, the medical staff knew something was fishy with his claim of how the frostbite occurred. His legs had no shoe or sock marks, and his injuries were symmetrical, something inconsistent with a frostbite injury. The other issue was that the temperature that night was about 42 degrees Fahrenheit, not even close to the freezing level necessary for this type of injury to occur in the city.

The investigation showed that just days before the “incident,” the man purchased several expensive policies for life, travel, and accident insurance. However, instead of getting the more than $1 million he hoped he would get, he only ended up with $7,200 that he now has to return – and is facing multiple criminal charges.

Why would any sane person agree to a leg amputation for any amount of ill-gotten monetary gain?

Insurance Fraud Investigations

While this case is definitely one of the extremes, the rare cases of actual insurance fraud have led insurance companies to doubt almost every victim’s claim of injury. And that way of thinking can cause legitimate personal injury claims to be unfairly delayed so every case of insurance fraud hurts unfortunate serious personal injury claimants, including many of our own clients.  This is why all major insurance companies employ a Special Investigation Unit (SUI). SUI is a specialized division dedicated to probing and combating fraudulent activities, including fake personal injury claims. This unit comprises skilled investigators, analysts, and legal experts tasked with identifying and mitigating instances of insurance fraud.

The primary objective of SIU is to safeguard the financial interests of the insurance company and its policyholders by ensuring that claims are legitimate and based on factual circumstances. Surveillance plays a pivotal role in SIU investigations. Surveillance teams discreetly monitor claimants’ activities to ascertain the veracity of their reported injuries and limitations. However, our personal injury law firm has found that many times the surveillance conducted by insurance companies does nothing but attempt to unfairly minimize the extent of our client’s injuries. When we have done our own due diligence and worked with clients who have legitimate claims, surveillance tends to be a pestilence and something that we have to combat so that an unfair portrayal of our client’s activities is not given credence.

Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for Legal Assistance

Ridding the system of fraudulent accident claims leaves a larger and more differentiated pie for people who suffer legitimate injuries in accidents and deserve full compensation. We believe all of our clients at this law firm fall into that category or we would not have accepted their cases. We realize that when insurance companies payout on fraudulent claims, it takes money away from valid claimants.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party or parties, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers. Our firm has secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve for the losses you have suffered. And we don’t think one of our cases involved any type of insurance fraud either.