Caerphilly Council prevented £6.4 million being paid out on what turned out to be bogus accident claims slips, trips, and falls over the past three years. The local authority employed a dedicated team in order to reduce the number of no win no fee accident claims being made against the council to 350 annually, down from 1,600 a year in 2005, and also brought charges of contempt of court in five instances.
The council said that an estimated three out of every five claims are bogus based on the work of its six-person insurance team. The team has worked hand-in-glove with private investigators and has used many methods, such as surveillance, in order to discover the veracity of these claims.
The local authority stands to lose approximately £50,000 for each compensation case it pays out on. This means that instead of wrongly paying out the funds, Caerphilly Council has instead reinvested the cash into frontline services, said Colin Mann, deputy leader.
Mr Mann said that the council was more than happy to pay in the event of a genuine claim. However, due to the huge volume of false claims, many of which may be encouraged by disreputable legal experts, the local authority needs to reinforce how trying to fleece the council will simply not be tolerated, the deputy leader added.
Claims proven to be false include one man who injured his elbow in a fight but instead claimed that his injury was caused by tripping on a pothole, while another was discovered to have both fallen from a bus and also tripped on pavement at the same time and half a mile away.