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For some folks, after a car accident and filing a claim with the other party's insurance carrier, it can sometimes seem suspiciously easy to get paid back for all your medical bills and property damage.
When this unusual phenomenon happens, it is usually because insurance companies have handling basic auto-accident claims down to a science and your claim fit into their model and was easy-peasy (though you may want to get a second opinion from an attorney before signing any settlement agreements). Unfortunately, sometimes the service providers, including auto-repair shops, doctors, chiropractors, and others, routinely overbill when they know an auto-insurance company will be paying that bill.
From Service Provider to Insurance Scammer
In a couple recently filed lawsuits, insurers Geico, Allstate, and State Farm are suing various service providers claiming that they submitted false and/or fraudulent bills for payment on claims. Additionally, in the Allstate and State Farm case, it is alleged that an auto-shop owner was receiving kickbacks for referring car accident victims to a particular clinic. The clinic is suspected of providing unnecessary treatment and writing unnecessary prescriptions for auto-accident victims in order to bilk insurers.
In the Geico case, a single auto-glass repair shop was sued for submitting allegedly false claims, including claims for services which certain vehicles could not receive. Additionally, Geico claims that the glass-repair shop fabricated documentation that was used to receive reimbursement.
Injured Victims May Suffer
For many individuals that get funneled into shady post-auto-accident services, it can seem tempting to go along with a tow-truck driver, mechanic, or even a lawyer or doctor’s plan to bilk the insurance company. After all, they’ve done “this” a million times, or at least, they might tell you something like that.
But if you don’t feel comfortable with it, you should likely consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before proceeding with your insurance claim. As a result of the lawsuit filed by the insurance companies against the repair shop and medical service providers, people with valid claims that got legitimate services from those providers will likely have to wait longer, or accept less money, to settle out their claims.