Fundamental Dishonesty & Fraudulent Claims
Trainee Solicitor Molly Evans discusses fundamental dishonesty and the consequences that may come from making fraudulent personal injury claims in her latest blog…
Does It Matter If I Exaggerate My injuries In A Personal Injury Claim?
Very often in personal injury cases, emotions such as anger, grief, confusion, misunderstanding, or even an unconscious tendency to exaggerate, can be more likely to come to the fore. Defendants, and particularly their insurers, are becoming wiser to these matters, and are beginning to show more inclination to investigate potentially fraudulent claims.
Due to increasing concern regarding the growth of fraud in this area, the Government has also stepped in to introduce a number of measures to try to tackle the problem. These include:
a) Cold calling and nuisance texts which relate to the making of a personal injury claim are strictly prohibited under s.139 of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013;
b) The introduction of AskCUEPI for low value road traffic accident claims. This search is conducted by the solicitor at the outset of the matter, to identify any previous incidents reported to insurers. This makes it easier for repeat Claimant’s to be identified;
c) The Civil Liability Act 2018 introduced a tariff system for compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in respect of whiplash claims. This was also in an attempt to reduce the temptation to bring a fraudulent claim;
d) It is prohibited for organisations to offer inducements, such as shopping vouchers or cash, as a way to persuade an individual to make a personal injury claim.
The Consequences Of Being Dishonest
1. Potential for costs sanctions, deprivation of damages, or the dismissal of the entire claim. In the instance where a claim is struck out because there were no reasonable grounds for bringing proceedings in the first instance, or if the claim constitutes an abuse of process, then the Claimant will potentially be ordered to pay the Defendant’s costs. This financial penalty is designed to reduce the likelihood of a fraudulent claim being brought by the Claimant. Although there is no statutory definition of ‘fundamental dishonesty’, the Courts have not shied away from using this as a deterrent previously.
2. The potential for contempt proceedings and criminal charges for fraud. Increasingly, defendants are applying for permission to pursue contempt proceedings against claimants who have exaggerated or manufactured claims for personal injury. There has recently been an upturn in the number of individuals who are being pursued for this type of behaviour or conduct.
The majority of personal injury claims proceed with no issues. Nevertheless, as you will see, not only are there a number of measures to dissuade people from making dishonest personal injury claims, but also potentially severe consequences if you do.
How Can Timms Help You?
If you would like any further assistance from a member of the personal injury team, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or call 0800 011 6666.