Houston Man Charged in Scheme to Defraud Commercial Truck Insurance Companies
If you’re going to target any one industry for sizable lawsuits, the trucking industry isn’t a bad selection. The problem, of course, is that the trucking industry has enough real accident claims against it already, and those claims tend to be sizable given the severity of injuries involved in large truck accidents.
Considering this, think of how dangerous it is to stage accidents with large commercial trucks simply to bill their insurance carriers for money. A 48-year-old New Orleans man, Mario Solomon, is the latest to plead guilty in the fraud scheme.
How Did the Scheme Work?
Solomon is one of eight people charged in the scheme. He is the sixth to plead guilty to the charges against him. Two more await trial. Solomon is believed to be the “spotter” for the crew. The scheme began in 2017, and the crew is believed to have staged over 40 crashes. A Houston woman will be the last to face charges in Louisiana.
According to police, an unidentified personal injury attorney paid the crew $1,000 each per staged accident plus an additional $500 for each passenger. Solomon, who acted as the spotter, was accused of fleeing the scene of the crash with another member of the group who drove the car. A third member would then claim to be the individual who was driving the car. The cycling of individuals filing claims was important to make the scheme work. It wouldn’t have taken a genius to figure out that one person filing several personal injury claims was creating the accidents themselves.
The scheme netted the crew a whopping $43,000.
Understanding Truck Accident Lawsuits
Whoever this personal injury attorney was who paid these individuals to stage these accidents is the real predator in this equation. Paying $1,000 to stage an injury-causing crash with a multi-ton vehicle is way less than any reasonable person would take. This is especially true considering that even modest personal injury settlements involving large trucks can go into the tens of thousands of dollars. A seven-person crew dividing up $43,000 just isn’t worth it.
Staging accidents for the purpose of filing claims against insurance carriers is, of course, illegal. It’s considered insurance fraud and a felony. Even if the injuries weren’t staged, it would be illegal to pay a client for the purpose of filing their lawsuit. Just about everything that happened in this scheme was illegal, dangerous, and potentially fatal.
Causing accidents with large commercial trucks not only imperils your own life, but it also imperils the lives of others on the road. Drivers can very easily lose control of the truck causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic, jackknife, or capsize.
Talk to a Houston, TX Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a large commercial truck, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the trucking company. Trucking companies carry large insurance policies in the event their drivers cause extreme injury or death. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to learn more about how we can help.