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Insurance Industry Reports Staged Slip and Fall Accidents on the Rise

Posted on January 24, 2011

CBS News led its newscast on Wednesday, January 19 with video of individuals who appear to be falling in a place of business. In each case, the individual sought to be reimbursed for their injury; however, CBS reports that the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) calls these phony falls, staged intentionally to produce phony claims and hopefully a windfall. The video is available on cnet.

The in-store surveillance video tells the entire story. One person pours olive oil on the floor before “slipping” on it. Another woman, working with a man, slips on a hot dog he had dropped moments earlier.

Prosecutors at the NICB say in just the first half of last year there were 469 slip and fall claims, which appears to be a 50 percent increase over 2008. And CBS News reports Florida is a hot spot for this type of activity.

The NICB says this type of fraud costs us all, about $30 billion a year, which we pay through increased premiums. These cases are extremely difficult to prove, especially if the person says they got hurt when they fell, and without video they are very difficult to prosecute for fraud. But with surveillance video and a past history of making slip and fall claims against other businesses, investigators are catching up with the scammers.

The Florida personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah find the majority of claims are for people legitimately injured when a store is not careful about the condition of its place of business. However, those who think this is a road to quick riches should be warned that most stores have surveillance video and that will be the first thing our investigators will look at before we consider taking your case.