Understanding The Elements of Insurance Claims Fraud

Having insurance can help individuals cope up with emergency expenses. Natural calamities such as hurricanes or tornadoes can leave so much damage on the affected area. While disasters can bring out the best in people, it can also bring out the worse in them. It is during these situations that criminals emerge and take advantage of the situation. The National Center for Disaster Fraud reveals that insurance fraud can become prevalent during catastrophes.

Texas insurance claim attorneys of Williams Kherkher will tell you that it is during disasters that unscrupulous insurance companies will deny individuals of their legitimate claims. In the face of disaster, there are different types of fraud that will arise. Disaster fraud is a deliberate act of deceiving individuals or the government after a catastrophe. Here are some examples of fraudulent schemes after natural calamities:

Charitable solicitation fraud

This type of fraud refers to the solicitation of funds by posing as a legitimate charitable organization. It may involve people or websites that claim to raise funds for disaster victims. These fake websites collect credit card numbers and other personal information of the donors.

Price Gouging

This is an act of businesses or individuals that involves increasing of the price of goods that are in demand or in limited supply in the disaster-stricken area.

Contractor And Vendor Fraud

This fraudulent act happens when individuals pose as contractors or repairmen but do not really intend to repair damage or complete the job.

Disaster-related Property Insurance Fraud

This is a type of fraud committed against insurance companies by inflating losses, faking repairs, claiming lost services, or intentionally causing property damage in order to collect insurance premiums. It can either be hard or soft. The former occurs when there is a deliberate fabrication of a claim. The latter, on the other hand, takes place when a normally hones person pads a legitimate claim.

Forgery

Forgery includes various practices such as reimbursing stolen checks from mailboxes, submitting false building permits and receipts for claims, and forging insurance and Federal emergency assistance claims.

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Employer Negligence as Contributing Factor to Truck Accidents

Despite the threats posed by 18-wheelers or big rigs on roads and highways, truck operation will never cease because of the major contribution these huge vehicles make in the U.S. economy. All the government can do is create and strictly enforce laws that will ensure the safe operation of trucks, like: qualification of drivers; use of truck parts, like brakes and tires that comply with DOT standards; maximum hours of service (HOS) that a driver can operate a truck; and, maintenance of a record of regular truck inspection and maintenance.

Obviously, however, the laws and their strict implementation are not enough as evidenced by the half a million truck accidents that cause 3,964 deaths and 95,000 injuries in 2013 alone.

Currently, there are about 2 million 18-wheelers operating in the U.S. Not all of these are operated, however, due to the lack of qualified drivers which, according to the American Trucking Associations, is at 48,000. With thousands of deliveries to complete every day, many operators require drivers to put in extra hours; drivers, on their part, push themselves to the limit, driving cross counties despite feeling fatigued and lacking sleep just so they can cover more road miles for a higher pay.

Besides allowing drivers and, sometimes, even forcing them to violate the HOS mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some operators (especially operators of small trucking firms) resort to illegal means, specifically, by hiring very young and unskilled drivers, failing to train those hired, requiring their drivers to drive longer than the allowed number of service and then asking them to alter the number of hours they have rendered in log book; and, failing to properly screen applicants for past records or driving violations – all these just to get as many job orders as they can and have these orders finished on time.

According to Tucson personal injury attorneys, trucking companies have the legal responsibility of ensuring that safety standards in regards to employees and vehicles are strictly upheld, as this will greatly affect the safety of other motorists and everyone else on the road. If and when trucking companies fail to uphold these standards, then they can be held financially responsible for their gross negligence.

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