D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • Filing a claim for injuries is essentially a request for compensation
  • Filing a claim for an injury that doesn’t exist is considered insurance fraud
  • Consequences of insurance fraud include denial of claims, cancellation of your policy, and even criminal charges

We know a lot has changed recently due to the pandemic. You may find yourself driving less, working from home, and having your groceries delivered rather than commuting, spending time in the office, and hitting the grocery store on your drive home.

And when it comes to the coronavirus and driving, some things have changed.

What hasn’t changed are the basics surrounding car insurance, accidents, and claims. For example, is it bad to claim an injury on car insurance when you aren’t hurt?

The short answer is yes, it is bad. Lying to your car insurance company is never a good idea. But what about lawsuits? Can you sue if you’re not injured?

Read this article to learn more and determine what could happen if you decide to make a false injury claim.

Before diving into more about claiming an injury on your car insurance when you aren’t hurt, use your ZIP code in our tool to get free car insurance quotes from local companies right now.

What is a bodily injury claim and when should you file one?

A bodily injury claim is a request for payment or reimbursement of expenses (and sometimes additional funds for pain and suffering) resulting from an injury incurred in a car accident.

You should only ever file for a bodily injury claim if you have a legitimate injury. It is most definitely a bad idea to file a claim for an injury when you aren’t hurt because it is considered car insurance fraud.

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What happens if you claim an injury when you aren’t hurt?

As we stated earlier, claiming an injury when you aren’t hurt is considered insurance fraud. This type of fraud is referred to as personal injury insurance fraud. Personal injury insurance fraud occurs when the claimant receives compensation for:

  • An injury that does not exist
  • An over-inflated injury
  • An injury that was not the result of the incident for which you filed the claim

Personal injury insurance fraud can also include (but is not limited to) intentionally damaging your property and staging an accident.

If you’re caught committing personal injury insurance fraud, the consequences can be severe and may include:

  • Denial of claims
  • Cancellation of your policy
  • Lawsuits
  • Criminal charges

In most states, insurance fraud is considered a felony, so if your insurance company chooses to pursue bringing you up on charges, you could be facing felony charges and associated penalties.

Insurance fraud is a significant problem in the U.S. According to the FBI, insurance fraud costs over $40 billion per year.

Sounds crazy, right? You’re probably already paying out more on your insurance as a result. The same FBI report notes that insureds pay an extra $400 to $700 per year in rates, on average, resulting from insurance fraud.

Because of the significant impact fraud has on both individual companies and the insurance industry as a whole, companies are serious about investigating claims to ensure fraud is not present.

The wisest course of action is always to be completely honest with your insurance company. Committing fraud for a quick payout isn’t worth it.

Can you sue for a car accident if you are not hurt?

You may be wondering about lawsuits. If you’re in an accident and your vehicle is damaged, but you remain uninjured, you can sue for property damage (but not for injury).

What should you do if someone files a false car accident claim against you?

If you’re on the other end of the equation, and you’re the victim of a fraudulent injury claim (rather than making one yourself), you’re probably wondering, how do I handle a false car accident claim against me?

If both you and your insurance company agree that the other party is filing a false claim, it is your insurance company’s job to handle the legal aspects of the false claim, including hiring a lawyer to defend you if the claim goes to court.

Is it bad to claim an injury on your car insurance when you aren’t hurt?

Claiming an injury on your car insurance when you aren’t hurt is a bad idea and can come with severe consequences.

Making a false claim is considered insurance fraud, which is a felony in many states. Insurance companies can choose to deny your claims, cancel your policy, and even file a lawsuit or bring you up on criminal charges if they find you have filed a fraudulent claim.

Now that you know the potential consequences of claiming an injury on your car insurance when you aren’t hurt, take a moment to enter your ZIP code below to find affordable car insurance near you.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Claiming an Injury on Your Car Insurance When You Aren’t Hurt

If you’re still wondering about car insurance injury claims, read through these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – How do you file a bodily injury claim?

Filing a claim after an accident isn’t difficult. Still, the process will vary based on the circumstances of the accident (i.e., who is at fault), where you live (state law determines whether claims are filed with your insurance company or the other driver’s), and the individual company.

You’ll need to have records and a description of the incident, photos (if you have them), medical records, all relevant medical bills or receipts, and proof of lost wages (if applicable).

It’s essential to have a complete record of the accident, any resulting diagnoses, treatment, and any additional medical information that will support your claim. You can also consider hiring a lawyer to ensure everything goes smoothly.

If you decide not to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance, or you live in a no-fault state, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. Worst case scenario, you can sue the other driver and their insurance company.

#2 – What types of car insurance claims can you file after an accident?

Most accident claims are either for bodily injury or property damage (or both).

To ensure you’re protected and have the coverage you need regardless of who is at fault in an accident, it’s a good idea to have comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the liability coverage required in your state.