Let's say you filed a claim with your car insurance company after you were involved in an accident. You thought you did everything the right way, but now the police have charged you with insurance fraud.
In the field of insurance fraud, there are two primary categories: hard fraud and soft fraud. In a moment, we'll explain what these categories mean, but first, let's understand the definition of "insurance fraud."
What is the legal definition of insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is the act of being dishonest to receive improper compensation from an insurance provider. The police might accuse anyone of insurance fraud: vehicle drivers, lawyers, doctors, salespeople and chiropractors might face such charges. Virtually any person who files a claim with an insurance company could become the target of an insurance fraud accusation.
In some cases, an insurance company and the defendant will handle an insurance fraud dispute as an administrative case. In other situations, it will fall under the category of a criminal complaint and could come with the threat of criminal punishments.
Hard fraud and soft fraud
As for the difference between "hard fraud" and "soft fraud," this largely depends on the severity of the insurance fraud that the defendant allegedly committed. Here are simple definitions for these two terms:
- Soft fraud: A legal term that describes a person who is usually honest, but tells a white lie to boost his or her damage claim. A lot of people view this kind of insurance fraud as harmless. That said, in the world of insurance law, even the smallest amount of soft fraud constitutes a crime.
- Hard fraud: Hard fraud happens when someone makes a deliberate effort to fake an injury or accident. This could also include deliberate arson or theft in order to have an insurance claim. Sometimes hard fraud is part of a widespread conspiracy by an organized crime ring that involves the alleged theft of millions of dollars.
Were you accused of insurance fraud?
Ann Arbor residents accused of insurance fraud will have the right to defend themselves in criminal court. With the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer, accused individuals can determine whether it is best to defend themselves against the allegations and seek a verdict of not guilty, or to try and reach a plea bargain deal with the prosecution.