Many people in the Beaumont area probably have some dealings with insurance companies.
Texans need some automobile insurance to drive, for example, and many lending institutions require those who take out mortgages to maintain homeowner’s insurance. Many of these people will have to file a claim at least once in their lives.
Many people also have health insurance and, although they may not think of it, have health claims filed on their behalf every time they visit a doctor. Likewise, those who have jobs and get hurt or sick at work may have to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Like other states, Texas has strict laws prohibiting people from filing fraudulent insurance claims. While fraud involving lower dollar values will be punished as a misdemeanor, any fraud over $2,500 is a state jail felony.
A fraud over $30,000 is a higher third degree felony that a court can punish with years in prison. The more money involved, the more serious the penalty.
In addition to jail time, a court can also require a person to pay restitution which can include the insurance company’s attorney fees.
Texas’s laws against insurance fraud are broad
Insurance fraud laws are broad in Texas. Because they are so broad, many people, including medical professionals, business owners and insurance professionals, can find themselves on the receiving accused of this white collar criminal charge.
It does not just cover information that is flat out incorrect. Even information that could be seen as misleading can sustain an insurance fraud charge.
People should remember that insurance fraud does not just apply to flagrant cases like burning down one’s own home or business to collect insurance proceeds. Insurance fraud can also apply to so-called padding of claims.
For example, over-billing medical insurers for services or continuing to collect workers’ compensation benefits after returning to work could be acts of insurance fraud.
There are defenses available to insurance fraud charges. Someone so accused should evaluate his or her legal options carefully.