View Full Version : Suspcted Fraudulent Whiplash Claim


Lance Murdoch
10th Jan 2008, 17:45
Just before Christmas I had a minor accident at a roundabout. I went into the back of the car in front. I was only going about 2mph when I hit the car. The car in front had a small dent in the back which a panel beater could fix for £50, my car was not damaged. I dont dispute the fact that the accident was my fault and I dont mind paying to repair the other car.

However, a couple of days ago I receive a call from my insurance company that the other party has put in a whiplash claim. This raises a few questions:-

1. Is it possible to get whiplash at such a low impact speed? The other driver was in his mid forties and didnt seem to be in any pain at the time.

2. Now that there is a whiplash claim against me am I likely to get any legal trouble from this? i.e. getting charged with driveing without due care?

3. Can insurance companies/ doctors etc prove that a claim is fraudulent?

4. Is there anything I can do (legally) to defend myself aginst this or is it something to chalk down to experience?

As always your advice is always welcome.
Thanks,



west lakes
10th Jan 2008, 17:49
Having been on both sides of this it's the compensation culture, your insurance co should deal with any claim following established procedures (did you report it to them?)

Police probably not interested

I would discuss it further with you insurance company that's what you pay them for.

Loose rivets
10th Jan 2008, 17:59
Make them show detailed professional opinion substantiating their claim. Make it quite clear you will oppose any claim for personal injury unless they do so.

Make it clear to your insurers that you do not wish them to pay on what is obviously a fraudulent claim. However....

I have to say that I don't know the current situation, but in the UK, we were one of the last countries where the driver, not the insurance company, was liable. If this is still the case, you need to be quite sure that you don't imply to your insurers that they should not cover you in the event of the crooked b:mad:d winning this case. Excuse the double negative.

Lance Murdoch
10th Jan 2008, 18:34
I reported the accident to my insurance company and stated very clearly that I thought the claim was bogus. Im beginning to wonder if the whole thing was a stitch up. As soon as we had the accident he got out and started taking photos, he even tried to take one of me but I politely 'dissuaded' him. He also insisted on going through insurance, I did ask him if he wanted to send me a quote for the repair work and Id give him cash.
At the time I thought he may have just been cautious, possibly been hit by an uninsured driver.

G-CPTN
10th Jan 2008, 18:43
It might be interesting to report the incident to the Police as, although the other driver was clearly not injured (and therefore there was no liability to report the collision at the time) he has subsequently become so incapacitated that he needs to claim for disablement. Of course such delayed injuries can occur, the sequence of events as reported suggest that this may indeed be a scam and there may be 'previous' history with this individual (if not with this vehicle). If you don't report it then the authorities probably won't know about it . . .

Avitor
10th Jan 2008, 18:53
"It might be interesting to report the incident to the Police"

On the other hand, think about it. Hitting the rear of another vehicle IS an offence. If you report it to the police, you should hope to hell the officer does not reply with.....'You have the right to remain silent.....blah blah'

No telling with today's Mr Plod!

WG774
10th Jan 2008, 19:02
The insurance firm should insist that he gets a testament from a specialist in such injuries (I had to when I claimed against a mad van driver for whiplash).

In order to 'fake' such an injury, you'll have to possess the lying skills of T Bliar to get away with feeding BS to the specialist... The specialists are chosen for stringency. I suggest finding out if he will be made to see such a person. Did he get X-rays taken after the accident, or did the symptoms suddenly come on the next day?

If the specialist is anything like the one I had to see, I suspect the acting skills of Alec Guinness would be tested...not to mention a lot of research on the symptoms.

G-CPTN
10th Jan 2008, 19:35
Hitting the rear of another vehicle IS an offence. If you report it to the police, you should hope to hell the officer does not reply with.....'You have the right to remain silent.....blah blah'For some time now the maxim WRT 'reporting an accident' has been that the Police are not interested in 'damage only' collisions where no personal injury is sustained. Of course there is the incident where damage is done to an inanimate object other than another motor vehicle (such as a fence) where a claim for damages might be forthcoming, but in the case of a 'simple' collision of two (or more) vehicles, exchange of names and addresses (and insurance details) is all that is expected I believe.
Of course, some here may know more precisely what is acceptable . . .

airborne_artist
10th Jan 2008, 20:19
1. Is it possible to get whiplash at such a low impact speed? The other driver was in his mid forties and didnt seem to be in any pain at the time.

Seems unlikely

2. Now that there is a whiplash claim against me am I likely to get any legal trouble from this? i.e. getting charged with driveing without due care?

No chance, and if he's a scammer, even less chance, as he's won't want attention from Plod.

3. Can insurance companies/ doctors etc prove that a claim is fraudulent?

If they wish. Their money at risk, their decision.

4. Is there anything I can do (legally) to defend myself aginst this or is it something to chalk down to experience?

The claim is not against you, but your ins. co., and I assume yr no claims has already been dented by the damage claim(s), so this won't change anything.

sketchy
10th Jan 2008, 20:45
I currently work for a mid size insurance company handling Third Party injury claims, and the situation you find yourself in is not rare in todayís compensation culture. People have accidents (increasingly on purpose, known as "slam on") and submit stupidly small claims for vehicle damage and then get some dodgy solicitors to whack in an injury claim - the most common injury to allege is whiplash, obviously, along with headaches, flashbacks etc. Their SOLICITORS will then nominate a medical expert (usually GP however can sometimes be an orthopedic surgeon) to examine the claimant - the important bit in the process is that the solicitors nominate the expert. Now, who of the following do you think they will instruct a) the expert who commonly understates the injury or b) the expert who overstates the injury? The expert who regularly offers a long prognosis will get more work and therefore more money, so it is now VERY rare to come across a medical report that states the injury is a non event and even the smallest of injury (1 week, say) will get at least £1000. 1k is the magic number where solicitors are concerned, as that is when they are entitled to predictive costs. So a case settles for this amount, the solicitors will be entitled to £1200!! Anyway, the point is that the medical legal profession does have the odd rouge and most people know it, but they can't prove it therefore the courts side with the claimants and the insurance companies are left to pick up the bill, therefore it is in our interests to settle for a little as possible outside of the litigation process rather than dispute it and the case goes to trial where we will invariably lose.

So to sum up, as frustrating as it is, there is nothing that can be done about it!

PinkusDickus
10th Jan 2008, 21:38
Bt the way you describe the behaviour of the other person at the "accident", it sounds like you were the target of a set-up.

In SW Sydney there was an ethnic group doing just that - deliberately stopping suddenly in front of cars when there was no need to. They even got their friends and relatives involved (both victims and perpetrators) and someone was stupid enough to do a video of an "incident".

Collected lots of cash in injury payouts until they got pinged through cross referencing etc.

Paracab
10th Jan 2008, 21:48
Interesting thread. I've attended quite a few road accidents where despite the apparent low mechanism, the occupant has neck pain and is convincing enough for us to fully immobilise them and cart them off.

We, as an ambulance crew with limited resources in the field can't disprove injury on the spot, and have to be careful.

Many moons ago I went to a very minor crash and one of the people involved couldn't decide whether to go to hospital or not (I was of the opinion that he didn't need to go, but we had to take him if he wanted to go. It was years ago, and things have now changed, thankfully). When pushed he said he didn't really want to go but was concerned that if he didn't it might affect his claim.

I also know a chap whose wife was involved in a collision. When she got home he said we'd better get you to the doctor. Why? said she. Because your neck hurts he said. Dr confimed definite whiplash and lo and behold everyone elses insurance went up a fraction. :rolleyes::ugh:

It should be remembered that I am rather cynical after a fairly long stretch in the NHS!

lexxity
10th Jan 2008, 21:53
I had whiplash once, but it didn't really hurt until the day after, couldn't turn my head at all, not comfortable. We were involved in a running over situation, little toerag ran straight out of a pub between parked vehicles, in darkness pint in hand. Husband hit him luckily the silly sod bounced even more luckily there was a Police van two vehicles back that saw the whole thing. Plod advised us to claim against the sily bugger who we'd unfortunately hit. We didn't. Best bit of advice he gve us was to go home and get a couple of stiff drinks down us!

Bronx
11th Jan 2008, 07:51
Sounds like a bogus claim to me.


Sketchy
Their SOLICITORS will then nominate a medical expert ........
Now, who of the following do you think they will instruct a) the expert who commonly understates the injury or b) the expert who overstates the injury? The expert who regularly offers a long prognosis will get more work and therefore more money .......

And the insurers have their own lawyers who nominate their medical expert ........
Now, who of the following do you think they will instruct a) the expert who commonly understates the injury or b) the expert who overstates the injury? The expert who regularly offers a SHORT prognosis will get more work and therefore more money .......

Insurance might pay some small claims that are bogus because it costs less than fighting but they have teams of lawyers who try to find a technicality to get out of paying bigger claims that are genuine.

Agree with you about the curse of today's compensation culture. It started in the US but looks like its spread all over the world now.

gingernut
11th Jan 2008, 07:55
Chalk it down to experience, all the variables are so subjective, including any medical evidence.

"Pain is what the patient say's it is."

'aint no scan in the world gonna prove any different.:bored:

The only time I've heard of a successful challenge, is when the symptoms go on for months and months, the claimant claiming that he can't work, play badmington, walk far, make love to his wife etc etc, and Mr Private Investigator films him laying a patio.

GANNET FAN
11th Jan 2008, 08:00
I can't see in these posts if anyone has asked if the whiplashee's car had a head support, which are attached to most front seats, as this will clearly lessen any whiplash as it designed to do

M20airmed
11th Jan 2008, 08:31
Is it possible to get whiplash at such a low impact speed? The other driver was in his mid forties and didnt seem to be in any pain at the time.

This is a difficult one! It may depend on any preexisting neck condition. The sensible answer is no at the speed you quoted. As Gingernut says, the medical profession provides the definition: 'pain is what the patient says it is', which effectively means that a physical abnormality can be ruled out but pain cannot.

Whiplash symptoms typically present within 12-24 hours post injury as long as that is the only neck injury sustained, any immediate pain may be more serious.

2. Now that there is a whiplash claim against me am I likely to get any legal trouble from this? i.e. getting charged with driveing without due care?

I wouldn't worry about this. I very much doubt anyone would be interested.

3. Can insurance companies/ doctors etc prove that a claim is fraudulent?

The medics can only offer their opinion based on their history and examination. I do not know much about proving them to be fraudulent, sorry!

4. Is there anything I can do (legally) to defend myself aginst this or is it something to chalk down to experience?

This is you insurance company's job!


Chin up, please don't worry:). At the end of the day, if the person is in fact a fraudster, leave them to their own conscience, these people will not go far. Little help when you're angry I know.:*

blue up
11th Jan 2008, 09:13
I was hit by an idiot driver. I was back at work within 2 weeks. I didn't realise at the time that both my thumbs were broken until one folded up whilst pushing the fuel pump switches on a 757. It was 18 months before the CAA would let me back to work.

The strange thing was that after the crash I felt fine, albeit with 'the shakes' and a sore shoulder although within 24hrs I was immobile on a bed and unable to roll over or to get up.

Possibly a mix of adrenaline (not the brown version) and shock dull any pain but when it subsides there comes swelling to bruised tissue and pain?

flower
11th Jan 2008, 09:38
Are you sure it was only 2 miles an hour, at that speed it seems dubious you would make a dent in another vehicle ?
Whiplash can occur at low speed and yes it does seem to show up some hours later from experience than at the time.
As for taking photos , well if I had a camera i would do the same.

You are very probably annoyed at being involved in a shunt which the law says is your fault but we all know isn't always. I remember being involved in a low speed shunt and i found it utterly incredulous that i should have been. At a roundabout road ahead was clear guy started moving forward then suddenly inexplicably stopped so of course I went into the back of him. When asked why he just stopped he couldn't give an answer but his Dad tellingly said that it was the 4th time it had happened in 3 months !!

Always best to go through the insurers rather than cash in my view and a very good reason to protect your no claims bonus. Its annoying but it really is something to just forget about.

G-CPTN
11th Jan 2008, 09:44
Some years ago I took a major tumble from my cycle (over the handlebars). I picked myself up and continued to work.
Two days later I was bending down to get papers from a filing cabinet drawer when I passed out with pain. A hospital visit confirmed a broken collar bone . . .

Lance Murdoch
11th Jan 2008, 10:52
Thanks for all the advice, admittedly my 2mph is an estimate and could be in error, although the fact that my car was not even scratched suggests that it was a very low impact speed. I accept that symptons can appear up to 2 days after an accident but three weeks?

The other driver did say that it was the second time that this had happened to him in that area. I dont think he is a serial fraudster though he may just be trying it on as it were.

The answers to my questions were pretty much what I expected and I guess I'll just need to be more careful in the future!

sketchy
11th Jan 2008, 10:52
Bronx

"And the insurers have their own lawyers who nominate their medical expert ........"

Only with the courts permission now. If the insurers wish to dispute causation of the injury, we have to get all the evidence together to support our allegation, of what is technically fraud against the claimant, and seek the judge's approval to instruct our own expert - very rarely is this permission granted.

Every process that that court implements seems to prevent the questioning of if/how an injury could of been sustained, for what reason I don't know.

Basil
11th Jan 2008, 11:19
he can't work, play badmington, walk far, make love to his wife etc etc, and Mr Private Investigator films him laying a patio.
What? Instead of his wife? Aye, there's nowt as queer as fowk! :}

Bronx
11th Jan 2008, 11:30
sketchy

You were talking about the injury, bad or non event, and rogue doctors. Now your talking about "causation". Docs can't say how an injury was sustained.

G-CPTN
11th Jan 2008, 13:14
So this guy could have a (genuine) pre-existing back problem.
"Go out and get yourself rear-ended . . . "

sketchy
11th Jan 2008, 13:19
Should the insurers dispute that an injury could of been sustained in such a minor accident, to them, the courts and the solicitors it is known as disputing causation.

sketchy
11th Jan 2008, 13:26
So this guy could have a (genuine) pre-existing back problem.
"Go out and get yourself rear-ended . . . "


Sure could, however insurance co's are allowed to review GP and hospital records (with claimants permission, however they would not deal with the claim if this request was refused) if required, so would show up then.

gingernut
11th Jan 2008, 13:27
So this guy could have a (genuine) pre-existing back problem.

Used to be a doctrine of "eggshell" skull, don't know if it still operates in law. Looking from it from the other guy's point of view, even if he did have a pre-existing back problem, it's not his fault that it was worsened by Lance's negligence. (Sorry Lance, but at the end of the day, that's what it amounts to.)

"2mph," well he would say that wouldn't he?

If a patient says it hurts, then it hurts. Nothing to do with fraudelent docs.

sketchy
11th Jan 2008, 14:10
"If a patient says it hurts, then it hurts. Nothing to do with fraudelent docs."

Trouble is though is a fair few claimants exaggerate or invent the pain. Interesting theory I heard once was that some people who make up the fact that they were injured, and do so for long enough, will eventually begin to believe that something is actually wrong with them - if this happens, then the perception of pain is in fact pain, and is therefore a valid head of claim!!

The majority of medico-legal Doctors appear to be genuine and clearly they can only go on what the claimant is telling them at the examination and the physical symptoms that are presented, however there are a not so insignificant few in this particular field that will exaggerate a prognosis, for whatever reason. These are clearly nominated more often by the solicitors.

Stockpicker
11th Jan 2008, 14:25
I think I know what's happened. A year or so ago I had a young driver who had no clue about safe stopping distances run into the back of my car. To minimise hassle, I put the thing in to the hands of a quoted company whose business is a) car hire and b) insurance claims - so they gave me a like for like replacement and got on to the other guy's insurers to pay.

All done & dusted, thinks I. Not so. I then got, over a period of several months, at least six separate calls from the claims handler asking if anyone in my car had suffered injury. Answer was no, no, no, no, no... you get the idea. One caller actually said that there could be a sum of money available to me if there was a personal injury. Having an inherent dislike of fraud, I insisted I hadn't been hurt, and eventually they went away.

Bear in mind though:
- if you're at all hard up, there is immense pressure to "admit" to an injury.
- the company I was talking about (claims handler) recently gave a [I]very[I] disappointing trading update to the stock market and the shares tanked.

sketchy
11th Jan 2008, 14:29
Accident Exchange by any chance?

mlc
11th Jan 2008, 15:42
Relative of mine got hit from behind (minor accident). She filled in her claim form for the damage to the car and in the 'injuries' section, mentioned that she had suffered slightly stiff neck for a couple of days. She didn't make any claim for personal injury and didn't expect anything.

Some time later, a cheque for £1500 appeared in the post, offering payment as final settlement. Needless to say, she was quite happy to receive this nice little bonus.

It would seem that some insurance companies are their own worst enemies.

Stockpicker
11th Jan 2008, 15:51
Accident Exchange by any chance?

The other one! Helphire.

Xorthis
11th Jan 2008, 17:58
You'll find in almost 99% of car crash claims today that one party will claim injury for something or another. I was witness to an incident involving two cars crashing in front of me while I was waiting at a junction a year ago. I gave them my details as a witness then two weeks later I get phone calls from my insurance company saying that there's two claims against me for causing the accadent.

Apparently, one driver had said he was swerving to avoid me (He had no damage to his car) and had hit the other guy. I went through interviews and was asked if I would have any problem appearing at court, which I didn't. After almost 6 months, I need to renew my insurance and find out that this case still isn't closed and is on my file as a fault incident, so I have to pay a higher premium! Also, on top of that I find out that both drivers are now claiming whiplash injuries and the guy who got hit is claiming it for a kid who was supposed to be in his car at the time of the crash. My insurance company told me that this happens all the time and not to worry as they are also disputing it on my behalf.

So a year later, I still have heard nothing else and the case is finally closed, so I can now get my current premium reduced as if I never had that claim on there in the first place :)

corsair
11th Jan 2008, 18:36
A year or so ago I had a similar incident to the one Flower described. A fool suddenly stopped dead on a roundabout. I tapped him. My 'fault' of course. I was furious though and insisted on calling the police, mainly to cover me because I suspected a possible fraudulent claim. No damage to his car which was a heap anyway, but some to mine.

The police were irritated by this but I explained that I had been rear ended by van a few years previously and punted into another car while stopped at a red light. My car a write off but minimum damage to the others (again, why me?). I didn't call the police then, big mistake. The van driver later claimed I had hit the car at the red light first and then reversed into him. Worse yet his insurance company would then only pay out for the rear end damage, even though they knew quite well he was at fault. Lesson learned for the next time even though this one was 'my fault'.

Also quite conveniently my sister in law happened to be passing and stopped. She is a lawyer so I introduced her as my solicitor much to the discomfort of the other driver.

Not surprisingly I heard no more about it.

The advice I would give is to call the police, even when it is your fault for minor issues. For bigger damages don't call the police and then think of the biggest, fattest lie you came come up with when the claim is put in against you. The system rewards liars and cheats. The insurance companies conspire with them.

Xorthis was a victim of just such a scam.

sketchy
11th Jan 2008, 19:20
"The system rewards liars and cheats. The insurance companies conspire with them"

Certainly I can sympathise with your situation corsair, but trust me the insurance companies are not conspiring against anyone. I know that is the perception and that not many people will sympathise with their position, as who likes insurance companies?! But really their hands are tied. Firstly, the insurers insist upon utmost good faith from their policyholders and every policy of insurance states, effectively, that you should be open and honest with them therefore if the policyholder says to them that the vehicle in front reversed into them, then we have to take that at face value and fight for their interests against the alleged negligent driver. Now I know full well that 9 times out of 10 it was the policyholder that hit the rear of the other car but Iím not going to challenge the insured until I have evidence that proves otherwise!!

Therefore youíre right, the system does reward liars and cheats, but what is the alternative? :{

Driver_Once_More
20th Jan 2008, 12:32
back in September 2007, I was rear ended, low speed, whilst stopped at a r/bout, exchanged details, other driver admitted liability on the spot. I did suffer whiplash, started getting very painful during the night. Went to A&E. The other parties insurance company sent me to see their specialist who advised the ins co I be better in 4 months and I should have physio.
After having physio several times a week, I went back to work after 3 1/2 months. I wanted to go back sooner, but my doc and the physio wouldn't let me and my gaffer also said no until I was cleared by the medics.