As the number of people claiming personal injury compensation a year rises, so too do the number of people making a false personal injury claim. But what exactly is a false personal injury claim, how can you spot one and what does this mean for the thousands of people each year who want to make a genuine claim for personal injury compensation after an accident? Don’t let talk of ‘compensation culture’ put you off claiming compensation if you have been injured in an accident that was somebody else’s fault – you could get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline to find out if you have a viable claim.
Spotting a false personal injury claim
There are a number of things which could stand out about a false personal injury claim – here at Accident Advice Helpline we have over 16 years’ industry experience and during that time we have seen our fair share of false claims. Here are a few examples of the things to look out for:
- Inaccurate accident dates – In order to be eligible to claim personal injury compensation, your accident needs to have happened in the past three years (that’s the time limit for all claims)
- Exaggerated injuries – Generally speaking, the more serious your injuries, the more compensation you are likely to receive
- Wrongly apportioned blame – You can only make a personal injury claim if somebody else was to blame for your accident, not if it was your own fault
The claims system has been set up for those who have genuinely been injured due to somebody else’s negligence. Abuse of the system costs the UK’s economy billions each year and leads to individuals being awarded compensation they are not entitled to. Experienced personal injury lawyers can easily spot a false personal injury claim, and you could be prosecuted if you attempt to make a fraudulent claim like this.
How big a problem are false personal injury claims?
The Association of British Insurers caught con men making 350 fraudulent personal injury claims a day in a bid to bag £1.32 billion, including one man who tried to claim compensation for a broken ankle, claiming he had tripped over a poorly maintained drain cover. In fact he had injured his ankle carrying out stunts for a YouTube video.
Slips, trips and falls and whiplash claims are the most common types of false personal injury claim that people try to get away with. The Ministry of Justice announced changes in 2015 to crack down on fraudulent claims for minor road traffic accident injuries, by raising the small claims court threshold for personal injury lawyers for £1,000 to £5,000.
If you make a fraudulent claim for compensation, you could receive a jail sentence, like one man in Southend who admitted to making three fraudulent claims. He received a 12-month court order, 80 hours of unpaid work and a £145 fine for his efforts. The rise of compensation culture in the UK has already seen some judges crack down on false insurance claims that are costing the economy billions each year, in particularly false claims for minor injuries like whiplash, which are often hard to prove.
Should I avoid claiming compensation after my accident?
Absolutely not. You are entitled to claim personal injury compensation if somebody else was at fault for your accident and you should not worry about others who may make a false personal injury claim. You’re not alone either – in 2012 a report from the Actuarial Professional revealed that in 2011 the number of personal injury claims actually rose by 18%, despite an 11% decrease in the number of reported road traffic accidents. What does this mean?
Well probably just that more of us are informed about making a personal injury claim and that we realise we are entitled to compensation if somebody else caused our accident. You could make a claim for almost any type of injury, from whiplash to a spinal injury, provided you received medical attention.
How much compensation could you get?
Aside from worrying about ‘compensation culture’ it seems as though many people are missing out on making a personal injury claim as they feel their injuries are not severe enough, or they don’t think that the amount of compensation they will receive will make claiming worth the hassle. This is not the right approach to take, as you could be entitled to compensation for your loss of earnings and financial losses as well as your injuries, and that can quickly add up to a fairly healthy settlement.
The best way to find out how much compensation you could get is to take the 30-second test here on our website. This is only an indication of how much you could receive as each claim is actually handled on an individual basis when you decide to proceed with us.
What happens after your accident?
Whether you have suffered serious injuries in an accident at work or minor injuries in a road traffic accident, we want to hear from you. You can get in touch with us at any point after your accident, but don’t forget that there is a three-year time limit to make a claim. Just call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or call 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out if you have a viable claim and get no-obligation advice from our team of experts. We have been helping people claim compensation since 2000 and we have handled claims for all types of accidents ranging from road traffic accidents to slips, trips and falls or machinery accidents in factories.
Give us a call today
Our lawyers provide a 100% no-win, no-fee service, which means that anybody can afford to make a claim after their accident, and we have a great track record of success – we have helped hundreds of people claim personal injury compensation over the past 16 years and more. We have even been endorsed by our patron, UK consumer champion and presenter of ‘That’s Life’, Dame Esther Rantzen, for our excellent customer service and our processes. We want to make the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible for you, so get in touch with us to see how we can help you today.
Date Published: 17th May 2013
Author: Sharon Parry