California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

2002. Insurance Fraud: Vehicle Accident

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2002.Insurance Fraud: Vehicle Accident (Pen. Code, § 550(a)(3))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with insurance fraud in
connection with a vehicle accident [in violation of Penal Code section
550(a)(3)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant caused or participated in a vehicle accident;
2. The defendant knew that the purpose of the accident was to
present a false or fraudulent insurance claim;
AND
3. When the defendant caused or participated in the accident, (he/
she) intended to defraud.
Someone intends to defraud if he or she intends to deceive another
person either to cause a loss of (money[,]/ [or] goods[,]/ [or] services[,]/
[or] something [else] of value), or to cause damage to, a legal, financial,
or property right.
[For the purpose of this instruction, a person includes (a governmental
agency/a corporation/a business/an association/the body politic).]
[It is not necessary that anyone actually be defrauded or actually suffer
a financial, legal, or property loss as a result of the defendant’s acts.]
A person presents a claim by demanding payment under a contract of
insurance for (a/an) ((loss/ [or] injury)/health-care benefit).
[A person causes an accident if the accident is the direct, natural, and
probable consequence of the person’s action and the accident would not
have happened without the act. A natural and probable consequence is
one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing
unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and
probable, consider all the circumstances established by the evidence.]
[There may be more than one cause of an accident. An act causes an
accident only if it is a substantial factor in causing the accident. A
substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it
need not be the only factor that causes the accident.]
New January 2006
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BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of
the crime. Use this instruction if a violation of Penal Code section 550(a)(3) is
alleged.
If causation is at issue, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on proximate
cause. (People v. Bernhardt (1963) 222 Cal.App.2d 567, 590–591 [35 Cal.Rptr.
401].) If the evidence indicates that there was only one cause of the accident, the
court should give the “direct, natural, and probable” language in the first bracketed
paragraph on causation. If there is evidence of multiple causes of the accident, the
court should also give the “substantial factor” instruction in the second bracketed
paragraph on causation. (See People v. Autry (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 351, 363 [43
Cal.Rptr.2d 135]; People v. Pike (1988) 197 Cal.App.3d 732, 746–747 [243
Cal.Rptr. 54].)
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with “For the purpose of this instruction” if
the evidence shows an intent to defraud an entity or association rather than a
natural person. (Pen. Code, § 8.)
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with “It is not necessary” if the evidence
shows that the defendant did not succeed in defrauding anyone.
Related Instructions
CALCRIM No. 2000, Insurance Fraud: Fraudulent Claims.
CALCRIM No. 2001, Insurance Fraud: Multiple Claims.
CALCRIM No. 2003, Insurance Fraud: Health-Care Claims—Total Value.
AUTHORITY
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 550(a)(3).
Intent to Defraud Element of Offense. People v. Scofield (1971) 17
Cal.App.3d 1018, 1025–1026 [95 Cal.Rptr. 405]; People v. Benson (1962) 206
Cal.App.2d 519, 529 [23 Cal.Rptr. 908], overruled on other grounds in People
v. Perez (1965) 62 Cal.2d 769, 776, fn. 2 [44 Cal.Rptr. 326, 401 P.2d 934].
• Intent to Defraud—Defined. People v. Pugh (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 66, 72
[127 Cal.Rptr.2d 770]; People v. Gaul-Alexander (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 735,
745 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 176].
• Intent to Defraud Entity. Pen. Code, § 8.
Secondary Sources
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against
Property, § 185.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 140,
Challenges to Crimes, § 140.04, Ch. 142, Crimes Against the Person,
§ 142.02[2][c], Ch. 143, Crimes Against Property, § 143.01[1][f] (Matthew Bender).
CALCRIM No. 2002 CRIMINAL WRITINGS AND FRAUD
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