Genuine claimants, honest lawyers hurt by accident fraud

False whiplash claims and fraudulent claims activity damage the reputation of honest personal injury lawyers and genuine claimants, one legal expert recently stated.

Personal injury specialist and practicing lawyer, John Spencer, had nothing but words of contempt for those who leap upon the back of the ‘whiplash bandwagon’ in an attempt to score a personal injury compensation payout. Mr Spencer has also taken issue with new proposals made by the government to curb fraud by placing a crash speed threshold that must be met before someone suffering from bodily injury can make a whiplash claim.

Such a ‘velocity threshold’ will also make it harder for genuine claimants to prove their case, Mr Spencer said, as minor impacts can still cause serious injury. The human spine is especially vulnerable to tissue damage, the personal injury expert added, and such injuries do not exclusively occur at high rates of speed.

However, fraud remains a serious problem, as spurious whiplash claims drive up costs for insurance providers. These insurers then turn around and raise rates for policyholders in an effort to recover their costs, leaving the average motorist paying more in annual premiums at a time when every last pound counts.

Industry experts say that the current economic situation both exacerbates and lessens the impact of whiplash injury fraud. It may only take a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch, but with money becoming tight for so many Brits, desperate – or ruthless – individuals may look for money wherever they can find it, leading them to make false injury claims.

It’s true that claims figures have rocketed recently, but evidence exists that the recession may be making the roads safer as well. Less money to go around means fewer Brits on the road as they struggle to save money on petrol, which means fewer accidents causing bodily injury are occurring.

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