As declared by our California Legislature:
The business of insurance involves many transactions that have the potential for abuse and illegal activities. (Cal. Ins. Code § 1871(a).)
Insurance fraud is a particular problem for automobile policyholders; fraudulent activities account for 15 to 20 percent of all auto insurance payments. Automobile insurance fraud is the biggest and fastest growing segment of insurance fraud and contributes substantially to the high cost of automobile insurance . . . (Cal. Ins. Code § 1871(b).)
Prevention of automobile insurance fraud will significantly reduce the incidence of severity and automobile insurance claim payments and will therefore produce a commensurate reduction in automobile insurance premiums. (Cal. Ins. Code § 1871(c).)
At Coast Law Group we recognize insurance fraud comes in many shapes and sizes. It is perpetuated by both the individual claimant as well as sophisticated networks of cappers, attorneys, doctors and medical clinics. Regardless of the scheme, one thread remains common – we all pay the cost of fraud.
As attorneys dedicated to preserving quality of life for Southern Californians, we take great pride in working with a select group of insurers in the fight against opportunists who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us. Whether exposing improperly inflated medical charges or unraveling staged accident rings, we have the experience, zeal, contacts and resources necessary to turn the tide against the scammers.
David Peck leads CLG’s Insurance Law team. An attorney who has spent more than sixteen years working to stamp out insurance fraud, Mr. Peck acknowledges the battle is waged one claim at a time. Because the bad guys tend to prey upon those insurers perceived as “soft”, Mr. Peck’s training of Special Investigation Units emphasizes the importance of establishing a reputation for toughness. The resources invested in building such a reputation have been shown to pay significant dividends in the form of false claim deterrence.
Beyond the SIU arena, CLG provides its insurer clients with first-rate representation in the defense of both first and third party claims:
Unlike some firms, at Coast Law Group we do not follow a “cookie cutter” approach in our defense of insurance claims. Instead, we formulate a unique strategy for each that will ensure accurate evaluation at the earliest possible juncture. This often means conducting depositions at the outset of litigation – many cases can be evaluated and resolved based solely upon a plaintiff’s medical records and deposition testimony. Serving written discovery as a first step (the standard operating procedure at many firms) often leads to unnecessary delays and costly discovery disputes. Furthermore, critical information, such as how a plaintiff comes across as a witness, simply cannot be determined through interrogatory responses.
Our insurer clients also appreciate that we are willing to back up our claim evaluations in the courthouse. While the pursuit of informal resolution is always recommended (including strategic use of C.C.P. section 998 offers) CLG’s litigators are seasoned trial lawyers. We welcome the opportunity to stand before a jury should settlement negotiations fail.
The investigation and defense of first party claims requires a careful balancing of the parties’ rights, duties and obligations. The attorneys at Coast Law Group are not only well versed in the nuances of this balancing act, they also stay abreast of the frequent legislative changes which affect the rules of the game. The importance of doing so cannot be overstated.
CLG offers a wealth of experience in the handling of uninsured motorist and property claims, including those arising from arson, theft and water damage. Mr. Peck has lectured at the IASIU national conference on Examination Under Oath strategies and has an incredible track record of convincing claimants under oath to confess their fraud and withdraw their claims. Many of these confessions have provided the groundwork for criminal prosecutions.
In addition to exhaustive investigation of the first party claim, CLG attorneys provide clients with solid legal analysis. We are frequently called upon to draft opinions as to whether a particular loss is covered by the insurance policy and, when appropriate, prepare a letter denying the claim.