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11 January 2019

Staged Car Accidents and Insurance Investigation

The state of Florida has a personal-injury-protection (PIP) requirement for auto insurance. The law mandates that no matter who is at fault for a car accident, insurance companies are required to pay up to $10,000 per person for medical care.  Some unscrupulous medical centers have used this to their advantage by planning staged car accidents.

 In 2011, Metro Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Miami was charged with hiring “drivers” who would pay people to pretend that they were in a car accident. The scheme also included coaching on what to say to the police. They would brief his recruits how the crash would occur, which driver would be at fault, the number of passengers he wanted in each car and what to tell the police.  The Center would ultimately bill the health insurance companies for medical treatments that were never performed.

Size of the Fraud Reveals the Need for the Private Investigators

 According to court records, Metro Chiropractic & Wellness Center paid “drivers” over $140,000 for their role in staging accidents, while the Center received more than $1.5 million from insurance companies.

In Florida, authorities have noted a significant increase in the number of staged accidents in recent years.