What Can I Do if the At-Fault Driver Lied to the Insurance Company?
Even though Florida is a no-fault state for car accident claims, you can sue an at-fault driver if you sustain serious injuries in the crash. Florida insurance laws require drivers to have PIP or Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage. PIP is no-fault insurance that benefits the insured instead of compensating accident victims for losses.
Florida insurance laws do not require drivers to have liability car insurance. Drivers often purchase liability insurance in case they cause a traffic accident. Liability insurance compensates accident victims for damages when an insured driver causes a car accident.
However, drivers may lie to their insurance companies about the cause of the accident. They do not want to be held liable for economic and non-economic damages if their insurance does not cover the value of the personal injury claim.
Why do drivers lie to their insurance companies? Reasons include:
- They were driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when they caused the crash
- The cause of the accident involved a traffic violation, such as running a red light
- They caused a distracted driving accident because they were using their cell phone, texting while driving, or doing something other than paying attention to the road
- They were following too closely or tailgating
- The speed they were going was over the posted speed limit
- They know they were drowsy, and their fatigue contributed to the cause of the accident
Most drivers lie about the cause of an accident to avoid liability. However, they also lie to avoid getting a traffic ticket or losing their driver’s license. Some drivers might blame road conditions, mechanical issues, or poor weather for a car accident instead of admitting they caused the crash.
What Are the Penalties for Lying to an Insurance Company?
Florida insurance laws punish insurance fraud. Insurance fraud includes making false, misleading, or incomplete statements to the insurance company. Lying to an insurance company could result in felony criminal charges, punishable by up to five years in state prison.
Lying to an insurance company could also result in substantial fines. Civil penalties are assessed if a person commits insurance fraud. The civil penalties are:
- A fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense
- A fine of $5,000 to $10,000 for a second offense
- A fine of $10,000 to $15,000 for a third or subsequent offense
However, the civil penalty for organizing, planning, or participating in an intentional motor vehicle accident to create a claim must be between $15,000 to $50,000. Civil penalties for insurance fraud are paid to the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund.
What Should You Do if the Other Driver Lies About a Car Accident?
You cannot control what another driver will or will not say after a car accident. However, you can take steps to protect yourself if a person lies about the cause of your car crash.
Never Admit Fault and Maintain Consistent Statements
Do not admit fault after a car accident or say sorry for an accident. When you give your statement to the police or an insurance company, provide the details in clear, concise statements. Maintain consistency when you retell how the accident occurred.
The best way to handle insurance companies is to have your personal injury lawyer respond to inquiries. Do not agree to provide a written or recorded statement without consulting a car accident lawyer. Your statements could be used to deny your claim or undervalue damages.
Document the Accident Scene
It is difficult to lie about something when there is evidence proving otherwise. If it is safe to do so, gather evidence at the accident scene.
Take pictures of the vehicles and the surrounding areas. Make a video of the accident scene with your cell phone if possible. Try to include vehicle damage, the position of the cars, skid marks, traffic signs and signals, and damage to other property.
Ask witnesses and bystanders for their contact information and names. Eyewitness testimony can be incredibly valuable when the testimony from an at-fault driver contradicts your account of how the accident occurred.
Your accident attorney also investigates the crash to gather evidence, including video from traffic and nearby surveillance cameras.
Consult an Experienced Ponte Vedra Beach Car Accident Attorney
An experienced car accident lawyer in Ponte Vedra has the resources and skills to investigate a car accident. The lawyer uses evidence to prove how the accident occurred and who was at fault for the factors that led to the crash. Having a lawyer on your side can help you prove that the other driver lied to the insurance company.
Your lawyer also protects you from the insurance company. Insurance companies search for ways to deny and undervalue claims. Therefore, the company is probably more than happy to believe its customer to avoid paying your claim.
Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170
Jacksonville, FL 32202