Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: Brits and fraud

Weekly whiplash news review: 7 days ended 29th Aug 2012:

In the kind of Catch-22 that would send John Yossarian into paroxysms of absolute madness, it seems that Brits simply can’t win when it comes to whiplash fraud.

First, a story that’s sure to warm the cockles of your heart: a couple from Keighley were nicked this week for trying their hardest to weasel personal injury compensation from a fake car accident claim they made last year. The pair of fraudsters were carted away early one morning by West Yorkshire Police and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department of the City of London Police for questioning, and have since been released on bail – but the story’s not over yet by a long shot for these two.

With whiplash fraud costing an arm and a leg – well, more like a whole hospital wing worth of limbs – insurers and law enforcement personnel have had it with the amount of it going around. Sure, it’s a lucrative industry, what with around £3 billion every year being siphoned from insurers and into the pockets of charlatans, but the rest of us are taking it on the chin as insurers have to make up the shortfall the only way they can: by raising our premiums.

Of course, part of the problem is that there all too many get-rich-quick personal injury solicitor firms out there, hounding people to make car accident claims even if they might not normally would by plaguing prospective ‘clients’ with unsolicited phone calls as well as spam emails and text messages. This brings us to our next story, where one poor bloke tried to pull out of a compensation claim that smelled off to him – only to be sued by his solicitor for refusing to pursue what could very well have been a fraudulent claim.

In proof that absolutely no good deed goes unpunished, the man was roped into making a claim by a particularly pushy no win no fee solicitor firm after he was in a car accident. He had been suffering from some neck pain for a few weeks after the accident – a sure sign of whiplash – and was originally reticent to bring a claim, but he kept getting bombarded with phone calls until he finally acquiesced.

Another few weeks and his neck feels fine; the honest bloke didn’t want to be part of the problem, so he dropped the case. This caused a massive row with his law firm, and now his lawyers are suing him for around £1,000 in legal fees.

That’ll teach him for trying to be honest, eh wot?

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