Don’t believe it when you hear media outlets talking about GP’s being ‘hoodwinked’ by fraudsters looking to make a killing from a false or spurious whiplash injury claim, says one industry expert.
Donald Fowler, managing director for medico-legal reports provider Premex Services, says that negative press has been casting the legal profession in the entirely wrong light. Claiming that GPs are conspiring with criminals in order to inflate the number of whiplash-related personal injury claims is fundamentally flawed, Mr Fowler said, as is suggesting that these fraudsters are pulling the wool over the eyes of the entirety of the nation’s professional medical staff.
However, medical professionals are in fact only doing their job, said the managing director. With whiplash injury being completely subjective due to a complete lack of any sort of objective testing methods, doctors need to rely upon their clinical experience in order to determine if the symptoms described by the claimant are congruent with the type of accident they say they were involved in.
The idea that GPs are actually making matters worse is a rather perverse one, according to Mr Fowler. Not only are orthopaedic surgeons and GPs highly qualified medical experts, they exist independently of the process – they are not rewarded or penalised if a claim is rejected or not, and the medical reports that are demanded by claimant lawyers and insurers have evolved to become so practical and efficient that Lord Justice Jackson noted in his 2010 report that personal injury compensation cases are actually less expensive in terms of collecting medical evidence for presentation to the court as a result.