Florida State Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, helped pass legislation in 2012 aimed at reducing the tremendous number of staged accidents and injuries in the state, and deter claims made after accidents in which victims had not even been present.
Once estimated as a billion-dollar industry in Florida due to the ease of receiving PIP payouts from insurance companies, Boyd’s changes helped strengthen requirements for medical evidence and stipulated that police reports list everyone involved, including all of the passengers.
Credited with reducing personal injury insurance costs and premiums, Boyd feels that the updated law put a dent in a serious problem where opportunistic scam artists still turn dents and dings into major injuries.
One such example of heavy-duty suspicions stemming from a marginal accident was featured in a recent Tom Lyons’ column in the Herald-Tribune.
In Lyons’ piece, a Sarasota retiree was supposedly involved in an accident when backing out of an on-street parking spot. This driver felt the accident was so small that he wasn’t even sure it happened. However, the driver of the other car claimed that he caused the collision and filed a police report. The retiree was issued a ticket.
He later found out from his insurance company that the woman driving the other car filed an insurance report claiming she and her passenger suffered trauma and were feeling pain in their neck, legs and back. The retiree says, “his insurance company is about to take a hit, but he’s not at all sure it is a legitimate one.”
Some unscrupulous staged accident rings rely on each other to carry out these scenarios to receive insurance reimbursement, according to the article. Although some parties face charges in the end, it isn’t easy to know when someone is faking an injury. It is even harder, as demonstrated in the retiree’s case, to prove the circumstances surrounding the injury are bogus.