Crimes involving insurance fraud are on the rise which means prosecutions for these offenses are rising as well. Insurance companies have recently seen an increase in fraudulent claims partly due to the sluggish economy. While many claims are truly illegitimate, insurance companies may also accuse claimants of fraud in order to protect their interests. This can result in innocent people being charged for a crime when they are only seeking to recover their losses after a tragedy.
Texas Insurance Fraud Laws
Insurance fraud is defined by the Texas Penal Code in Section 35.02. It occurs when a person makes a false or misleading statement in order to deceive an insurance company into paying out a claim. Those who receive benefits for providing health care goods and services can also be liable under this code. Other types of insurance fraud include:
- Health insurance fraud
- Property insurance fraud
- Worker’s compensation insurance fraud
- Automobile insurance fraud
- Life insurance fraud
- Unemployment insurance fraud
Possible Penalties and Sanctions
The punishment for insurance fraud can be severe depending on the nature of the offense and amount of money involved. Texas law provides the following sanctions for those found guilty of insurance fraud:
- Loss of professional license
- Inability to obtain insurance later
Those who are accused of insurance fraud could also find themselves facing other charges if the fraudulent act involved committing a crime. For example, life insurance fraud could result in murder charges if it is determined the claimant caused the death of the insured. Arson charges could result from making a property claim involving fire. Attorney James Alston is well versed in defending all types of insurance fraud charges.
Contact a Houston Insurance Fraud Attorney
Before you can be found guilty of insurance fraud, Houston prosecutors must be able to prove every element of this crime. This includes proving that you knowingly made a false statement and that the subject matter of that statement included material facts. Insurance companies are notorious for hiring aggressive attorneys who attempt to discredit witness character and manipulate the evidence, often to keep from paying a legitimate claim.
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