Last week, Libia Mendoza and her brother Leonel Mendoza (37 and 39 respectively) were indicted on charges of conspiracy, insurance fraud, tampering with public records, and attempted theft by deception according to the Insurance Journal. Grand jury documents show that the pair allegedly reported a hit-and-run accident that was false.
Their attempt to commit insurance fraud was reported to have happened between May 2010 and September 2011. Leonel was said to have reported a hit-and-run accident on behalf of his sister stating that an unknown vehicle that left the scene caused damage to Libia’s BMW X5. It was also reported that Lionel also filed a report of the purported accident with the Jersey City Police.
The pair then submitted the false report to Libia’s insurance company, MetLife Auto and Home Insurance Company, seeking just over $10,000 in benefits. The claim was denied and then MetLife reported the claim to the Oddice of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. Libia and Leonel gave a statement to the insurance company detailing the accident, which is also claimed to be false.
The punishments, if found guilty, could result in up to 10 years in prison and more than $150,000 in fines. The pair is not considered to be guilty until it is proven in a court of law. There was no report on when trial proceedings will begin.
Presuming that the facts presented to the grand jury are true, these types of fraud attempts are what give all personal injury cases a bad reputation. When people try to falsify accidents with the intention of receiving a good pay-off they are devaluing the entire civil court system, which ends up hurting those who really need it. Civil claims such as those associated with motor vehicle accident and medical malpractice, are seen by the public to be ‘frivolous’ and an attempt to make a quick buck when in fact those who file valid claims have real need for and deserve compensation.
This Good Morning America report shows several instances of people attempting to make fraudulent personal injury claims.
When someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions that person should be held accountable for the damage they have done. This is not only physical injury but also the resulting financial hardship and the mental anguish that comes with suffering a life-altering injury.
It is extremely upsetting that con artists are out there every day trying to make some money by staging accident. Anyone who has actually been injured in an accident knows how traumatizing it can be, yet there are some who have no respect for people with legitimate need for the civil court system.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Console & Associates P.C.. We know that your injuries and needs are real and will fight to hold the person or persons who cause your accident accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.