New York State
James J. Wrynn Superintendent of Insurance 25 Beaver Street New York, N.Y. 10004
|ISSUED 09/14/2010||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
A woman involved in an auto accident in Rensselaer County in which she suffered serious injuries, including a broken ankle, a fractured rib and a collapsed lung, still managed to walk a mile to a friend’s house after the crash. She now, however, faces up to 15 years in prison after being accused of lying in an effort to get insurance coverage for her injuries.
State police arrested Heidi Laviolette, 42, of Orr Street, Troy, on Wednesday for insurance fraud. She is accused of lying on an application for the no-fault benefits she sought after crashing her car into an unoccupied house. She claimed she was a passenger in the car on her application to Geico Insurance Company.
An investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau found that Laviolette was actually the driver and only person in the car. Another person later reported the accident to police and Laviolette was arrested for driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of the accident. The accident occurred in Sand Lake late on the night of Nov. 13, 2008.
Laviolette sought no-fault insurance benefits to pay for medical expenses and lost wages. However, under most no-fault insurance policies, a person is ineligible for benefits if driving while being intoxicated or impaired contributed to the cause of an accident.
If she is convicted, she could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison on the felony charge of insurance fraud. She was also charged with falsifying business records.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Art Glass.