Insurance fraud is aggressively prosecuted by the San Diego District Attorney's
office. This includes workers' compensation fraud and auto insurance
fraud. In 2010, nine people in San Diego were convicted of staging auto
accidents with stolen vehicles in a scheme to defraud auto insurance companies
of over $200,000.
Channel 6 News San Diego reported the group were charged with staging five
alleged fraudulent traffic accidents. Each case involved two vehicles:
the vehicle that caused the collision, commonly referred to as the “hammer”
vehicle and the vehicle that was struck, commonly referred to as the "nail"
vehicle. For each crash, the passengers in the “nail” vehicle
claimed injuries and sought treatment at a local hospital. When the insurance
company settled the claims, the payment checks were sent directly to the
“injured” passengers, who left the hospital bills unpaid.
In 1993, a group of over 40 individuals were charged with similar fraudulent
Unfortunately, this type of criminal behavior sometimes makes insurance
companies wary of legitimate claims, for instance where the "hammer"
vehicle is a stolen vehicle or is abandoned at the scene. In such cases,
even a legitimate claim can be referred to the insurance company's
Special Investigations Unit.
You should know your rights when dealing with an insurance company. If
you or someone your love has been injured in a car accident,
call our office for a free, no hassle consultation to find out those rights and to talk
about your case.