Everyday thousands of New York City residents utilize some form of transportation to navigate our great city. It is no surprise that auto accidents and injuries have become an everyday common occurrence in the Big Apple. However, the simple fact that these mishaps are fairly commonplace doesn't take away from the serious pain, suffering, and often confusion as a result of an auto accident. Personal injury claims are the legal disputes that intend to fairly compensate victims for general distress and damage from such accidents.
Most claims stem from accidents or injuries and are the legal basis for holding a person or company legally accountable for an incident resulting from some form of negligence. However, city officials have reported that a large number of personal injury and insurance claims since 2010 have included some element of fraud that may increase rates for all city drivers. Recently, sixteen New Yorkers were arrested on allegations of staging auto accidents throughout the city in hopes of collecting a reported $331,993.08 in fraudulent claims.
The defendants allegedly used private and rented vehicles to stage crashes into unsuspecting city buses and cabs in order to file fake medical claims. "'This all-too-common staged-accident scheme puts innocent lives in danger so perpetrators can rip off the system to make a quick buck,' said state Attorney General." The 16 defendants were arrested and arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court and face as many as 15 years in prison.
Incidents of staged crashes and other personal injury fraud raise insurance rates for all city drivers and detract from the real purpose of fairly compensating victims for their real troubles. In the event of an actual accident, personal injury attorneys may assist in managing medical bills, applying for state disability and income continuation benefits, resolving property damage claims, and filing claims against insurance companies or negligent parties to recover for lost damages.
Source: New York Post, "'$taged crash' arrests," Josh Saul, Jan. 25, 2013