Industry news roundup: week ended 23 Sept 2013:
One of the biggest problems the personal injury compensation industry right now is the prevalence of spurious whiplash claims – but that seems to be changing.
As a culture we seem to be getting a bit more clever in rooting out fraudulent accident claims, especially when it comes to whiplash. In fact one wholesaler from Leeds has been able to win his legal battle in refusing to pay out on not one but two rather suspicious whiplash claims recently.
The furore all began when one of the lorry drivers for Morris and Son (Leeds) Ltd accidentally pranged a parked vehicle when he came around a corner in Harehills. There was no one actually in the car at the time, according to the driver, and in fact the collision was so low-speed that it would have barely been able to cause even minimal damage to occupants if there had been any inside the car he struck – and according to the driver, he couldn’t remember seeing anyone in the car he inadvertently struck.
Of course – and here it comes, did you expect otherwise – the owner of the car, who had been parked on the side of the road as he went inside to pull some money from a local cashpoint – claims that his two young children were within the vehicle and they both were suffering from whiplash injury. At this point Morris and Son’s insurer could smell something was rotten in the state of Denmark and decided to fight the claims – in fact, an automotive engineer examined the accident and declared definitively there was no way to actually suffer whiplash from such a low-speed collision. Luckily the courts agreed, and these suspicious claims were summarily dismissed!
It’s not just the UK where people are fighting against the creep of spurious whiplash injury, though. In fact, would you believe that Australia has seen a marked drop in their own whiplash injury claims, especially in Victoria?
It’s true – over the past 10 years, accident claims for whiplash dropped by more than 25 per cent. The related health costs also dropped my more than 33 per cent, according to a new survey.
So I wonder – what are Australians doing that we aren’t? Do we just have weaker necks than those Down Under or do we need to get with the programme and follow in the Australians’ footsteps? It couldn’t be that bad, especially considering that we could certainly use the respite from high insurance costs caused by whiplash claims!