Unfortunately for legitimate plaintiffs, some people fake personal injuries and file lawsuits hoping to earn a quick buck. If you have ever seen a movie or television show in which a car accident victim puts on a neck brace just for show, then you understand the issue.
Louisiana law recognizes that this is a problem and penalizes plaintiffs and attorneys for filing frivolous or fraudulent claims.
A frivolous legal claim “lacks merit under existing law” and ”cannot be supported by a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.” A fraudulent legal claim “is dishonest in fact” or “is made principally for a patently improper purpose, such as to harass the opposing party.”
Pleading Requirements and Sanctions
A pleading is a formal statement that explains the legal cause of action. Every pleading must be signed by an attorney or by the party (if he or she does not have an attorney.) That signature certifies that:
- The party does not have an improper reason for bringing the claim, such as harassment, unnecessary delay, or to needlessly increase the cost of litigation.
- The claim is warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument to somehow change the law.
- The allegations and facts are supported by evidence or are likely to be supported by evidence after further investigation.
- Denials in the pleading are supported by the evidence or are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.
If the pleading violates these certification requirements, the court may impose sanctions. Appropriate sanctions might include reasonable expenses that the other party incurred because of the pleading and attorney’s fees.
Examples of Frivolous and Fraudulent Car Injury Claims
You are entitled to seek compensation from the responsible party if you are injured in a car accident, but you can only recover damages for injuries related to the accident. You will get in trouble if you pretend that a preexisting condition — to your body or to your car — was caused by the accident. Here are a few examples of car injury claims that are actually fraudulent or frivolous:
- Last week you banged into a curb and messed up your hubcap. Today another vehicle sideswiped you and scratched up the side of your car. You decide to blame the accident for the damage to your hubcap.
- You tore a ligament in your wrist while playing football. When you get into a car accident you try to say that the wrist injury happened because of the crash.
- You get into a car accident and receive only minor injuries but decide to pretend that you suffered more extensive injuries (like the neck brace example).
Talk to an attorney before filing a personal injury lawsuit. A qualified attorney will make sure that you do not file a frivolous or fraudulent claim.
Contact Us Today
Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you are injured in a car accident. Our experienced attorneys will help prove that you have a legitimate personal injury claim and help recover the compensation that you deserve, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.