Is Your Solicitor Taking Your Car Accident Seriously?

Is Your Solicitor Taking Your Car Accident Seriously?

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Home Page > Law > Is Your Solicitor Taking Your Car Accident Seriously?

Is Your Solicitor Taking Your Car Accident Seriously?

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Posted: Mar 10, 2011 |Comments: 0

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When a car accident occurs it can be a highly traumatic experience for everyone involved. As well as damage to the vehicle and the negative effect this can have on the life and finances of the owner, there is also the potential for serious and debilitating injuries.

When someone sustains injuries of any kind as a result of an accident that wasn’t their fault they have a legal right to claim for financial compensation. This compensation may be for the trauma, stress and hardship caused by the accident, for the physical injuries sustained and treatment required, and for any loss of earnings experienced as a result.

Unfortunately in recent years there have been a rising number of fraudulent claims for whiplash, which have made personal injury solicitors and the insurance industry wary when dealing with compensation claims arising from car accidents. This in turn has made things more difficult for people with genuine claims for whiplash or any other injury to make a claim. All too often they are confronted by scepticism from insurance companies and solicitors, further adding to the overall stress of the experience. It can even intimidate some people to the extent that they simply walk away, missing out on the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Cash for crash scams in Scotland.

A major part of the problem of fraudulent whiplash claims is the activity of organised criminal gangs operating so called ‘cash for crash’ scams. Unfortunately it seems the phenomenon is on the rise in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

In cash for crash scams, a driver deliberately stages a crash for which they can then claim compensation for non-existent injuries. Whiplash is the most common claim of this type made, partly because its nature makes it notoriously difficult to independently verify and diagnose.

Cash for crash scams have been known to be operating in England and other parts of the UK for some years, but is only recently that the problem has come to light in Scotland. According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), both Glasgow and Edinburgh are known hotspots in which cash for crash gangs operate.

Glen Marr, director of the IFB has stated that, “we have a list of 125 hotspot areas where we know networks are operating… As we target areas of high activity, unfortunately, the pattern is the gangs move on to new areas.”

The IFB estimates that the activity of cash for crash scams add £44 on average to the annual insurance policy of all motorists in the UK.

A widespread problem.

Unfortunately fake whiplash claims are not the exclusive preserve of known criminals, as it seems ‘ordinary’ motorists are also taking advantage of the opportunity to make some easy money. A report by claims that 1 in 20 motorists under 35 had admitted to staging an accident in order to make a fraudulent insurance claim.

The true cost of fraudulent whiplash claims.

As well as putting lives at risk, causing the price of car insurance policies to rise and costing the insurance industry many millions of pounds, fraudulent whiplash claims also cast an element of suspicion on those with a genuine claim.

However, any professional and experienced personal injury solicitor should be able to discern between a genuine claim and a fraudulent one, so those who deserve compensation should never be afraid to claim.

About the Author:
Read more about Accident Claims Scotland? Nick Jervis is a Solicitor (non-practising) and consultant to Edinburgh Solicitor and Personal Injury Specialist Stan Moffat of Moffat and Co.
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