Automobile Accidents and False or Exaggerated Injury Claims

Michael L. Crowley, Utica College of Syracuse University
Kyung-Seok Choo, Utica College of Syracuse University

Fraudulent or exaggerated injury claims presented in the course of automobile accidents in New York State is an increasing concern that affects the economics of all New York State consumers. The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates fraud is present in 16.44% of claims. A 1995 study by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice concluded more than 35% of people hurt in auto accidents exaggerate their injuries, adding $13-18 billion to the nation's annual insurance bill. The study examines variables relevant to fraudulent injury claims to seek a pattern of auto insurance fraud. The variables are sociological and geographical makeup of the injured parties, types of injuries, vehicle design, the motor vehicle damage appraisals and medical documentation. Based on the data that we have collected and reviewed, the results will be presented to insurance companies and consumer advocate groups, and consumers directly in an effort to educate the people about these trends in order to combat and reduce false or exaggerated claims.

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Updated 05/20/2006