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Protecting Yourself From Personal Injury Fraudsters

Last week a video emerged of a lady driving down an urban road with a clear view ahead of her. All of a sudden, as she began to break for the junction, a moped rider appeared from nowhere, placed himself static in the middle of the road and waited for the lady to pull up behind him. You’d automatically assume you simply wait for the moped rider to move out of the way and then take your chosen route, but this was no ordinary situation.

Moped Rider Caught On Camera

Out of nowhere the moped rider began running backwards with his moped and smashed it into the front of the lady’s car. As if this was not bad enough for a lady out driving by herself, the rider then jumped off the ground backwards and smashed his back into her windscreen. She was obviously alarmed by this turn of events, jumping out of the vehicle to challenge the “injured person” and ask what was going on. What happened next?

The moped rider was obviously working with an accomplice who from nowhere jumped out and began filming the aftermath of the “crash” on his mobile phone. There was much shouting and screaming from the “injured party” and his colleague, that is until the dash cam was revealed. At this point the “injured party” jumped up, picked up his moped and he and his accomplice made a run from the scene of the crime. If it was not so serious it would be hilarious but this is the lengths to which scammers and fraudsters will go to make a personal injury claim.

You can see the actual video below:

Simple But Effective?

Car dash cams are fast becoming a tool of choice for motorists around the world and with prices ranging from £20 upwards it is a relatively inexpensive way to protect yourself. While the vast majority of dash cam coverage will be irrelevant can you imagine the benefit of that vital footage when somebody attempts to defraud insurance companies by making you out to be the culprit and them the victim?

While much of the focus of late has been on the cost of personal injury claims fraud, instances like the one above can have a lasting impact upon the people involved. The mental torture of coming to terms with fraudsters using you as a pawn not to mention the challenge of going back behind the wheel can be everlasting for many people. When the “evidence” is put before any third party they would automatically assume the car driver was at fault and it would be very difficult to prove otherwise without any third-party testimony. So, perhaps it is time to consider a dash cam for your vehicle?

Don’t Assume It Will Never Happen To You

Whether in your private life or your business life do not automatically assume that it will never happen to you. Insurance giant Aviva revealed in May this year that it had detected approaching £250,000 of bogus claims each day during 2016. Even though the company have seen a year-on-year increase of 9.5% in the number of detected and declined fraudulent claims this is still but a drop in the ocean.

These are not isolated incidents, and the majority are not simply opportunists after a few pounds. The majority of these bogus claims are organised by criminals who have perfected the art of creating an “accident scene”. If these are the figures for bogus claims which have been detected the mind boggles as to the amount which remain undetected. Remember, these criminals have no interest at all in the innocent people drawn into their web of deceit, they have no interest in the impact on their lives, it is just purely and simply greed.

Personal Injury Claims Against Businesses

While we have seen a large increase in the type of incidents described above, there is a growing move towards personal injury claims against businesses, many of which are fraudulent. The problem here is that many people see claims against businesses as a “victimless crime” but the knock-on effect to the cost of fighting and potentially paying out on fraudulent injury claims can decimate businesses. The increase in the cost of insurance reduces the amount of money available to invest in the business and ultimately grow the business. If a business is not growing then there is potential for redundancies which need never have happened.

If you are an employer it is vital that you consider protecting yourself from fraudulent claims by introducing surveillance equipment. The fact is that nobody wants to “snoop” on their workforce but if everything is above board and all employees are aware of the surveillance equipment it simply becomes a tool of business. We can only imagine how many fraudulent personal-injury claims have been avoided by the installation of simple surveillance/CCTV equipment in the workplace. On the flip side of the coin, if there are legitimate personal injury claims from incidents on business premises then there will also be supporting evidence. The quicker a claim is resolved, one way or another, the better for all parties and the cost savings can mount up.

Fraud Detection Systems

As we touched on above, insurance companies in the UK are now making full use of the latest technology to detect personal injury claim fraud. The industry now utilises artificial intelligence to read and digest reams of information, spot patterns and reveal a list of potentially fraudulent claims. There is also talk of making further use of voice analysis technology which can detect potential lies by simply discussing an event over the telephone with the claimant.

The development of these fraud detection systems has swallowed up millions of pounds from insurance company coffers and unfortunately in the short term it will be shareholders and customers who pay the price. The hope is that over time, and there is already evidence of this, the systems will effectively pay for themselves, reducing the liabilities of UK insurance companies by hundreds of millions of pounds a year and billions of pounds in the long-term. In order to make these systems as “fool proof” as possible the general public and business owners will also need to be more vigilant and unfortunately more suspicious of incidents which could lead to personal injury claims.

Save Money With A Dash Cam

On a final note, a number of UK insurance companies are already offering discounts on annual premiums for those drivers willing to install a dash cam. In many ways this is a win-win situation for the insurance industry, the public and the driving public. Insurance companies will have hard evidence of incidents so there is no confusion and indeed those cars with dash cams may also be able to provide coverage of third-party incidents to which they were not directly involved. As an added bonus, if you have a dash cam in your vehicle you’re more likely to be a conscientious driver and hopefully avoid any accidents yourself.

Will we get to a stage where insurance companies actively promote the installation of dash cams? Could they become a legal necessity further down the line? They are relatively inexpensive, extremely easy-to-use but the evidence they provide can be invaluable.

  • Sarah Angius

    Great article. I totally agree with you that if anyone is threatening, they have to inform the police as soon as possible.

  • Alison Fayers-Kerr

    I gave a friend a lift ( she begged me and was very insistent). When we arrived at destination I reversed and bumped into a bollard. Very little impact was felt but I was shocked and saddened because the car was not mine. My passenger had been telling me all about a claim she was making because she had a been involved in an accident and that she was suing for damage to her neck. She explained how easy it was and how she didn’t want her car back for reasons to her advantage.
    We had dinner at another friend’s house and she seemed fine, insisted on doing the cooking, laughing and throwing her head around normally…
    I drove her home and then went home myself.
    Today, she contacted me to say she was thinking of naked by a claim. I presume against me. I said Id call her. We spoke and she told me she was receiving neck treatment and she wanted me to pay half of the private chiropractors’s fee. She was threatening and abusive. I explained that it wasn’t my fault and that she’d just been telling me that she had been receiving treatment from her former accident and had floated over the fact that she was suing the other driver. She was laughing as she told me and was clearly pleased with herself.
    I am quite sure that I am innocent and that the minor kerb bump or possible bollard bump was in no way responsible for any harm to her body or general welk-bring, born out by her normal behaviour during the evening.
    I’ve never had any accidents or insurance claims so I have no exoeruence of how to protect myself against false claims against me.
    Could you advise me?

    • Hello Alison, sorry to hear about your troubles but we only deal with personal injury cases and not with disputes among friends unfortunately, although she doesn’t sound much like a friend to me. However, speaking for myself I would certainly not contribute or pay anything towards any costs she claims she is making. From what you’ve said and without knowing all of the facts it sounds as if she’s just trying it on to see if she can get money out of you. If she really is injured and decides to make an accident claim any compensation would be paid by your insurance if the claim was decided in her favour. You could ring your insurance company and explain to them what has happened and they might be able to put your mind at rest.

      Personally I wouldn’t worry too much, but if things start to get threatening I would speak with the police.

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