For those inside the insurance industry, there is nothing funny about the fraudulent acts that have been playing their part in premiums rising and proving hugely costly to the returns of many businesses. However, sometimes the antics of bungling fraudsters can raise a smile or two – especially when their efforts are caught out in the most bizarre fashion.
That was certainly the case for two claimants who had made personal injury claims when a coach they were travelling in was hit by a Transit van.
Caine Herbert and Steven Blake of South Wales had claimed they suffered whiplash injuries from the low-speed collision back in March last year. However, they were caught out when insurance law firm DWF Solicitors discovered footage of them participating in a series of rugby matches on Sky Sports, including one at Cardiff Arms Park.
The duo were taking part in a ‘back to work’ scheme designed for unemployed former offenders, known as ‘School of Hard Knocks’, which was filmed by Sky. As part of the programme, they participated in training sessions and two rugby games that were filmed by the broadcaster – which they omitted from their report to their medical expert. In fact one claimant said he was unable to play rugby and talked about how much he missed the sport. Yet despite this, they took part in an 80 minute game at Cardiff Arms Park – footage of which was shown to the judge at Cardiff County Court.
Having seen the footage, the judge quickly dismissed the claims concluding that the impact could not have caused injury to the coach occupants, meaning that claims that had been made by four other claimants are unlikely to be advanced. The claimants were ordered to pay over £20,000 in defence legal costs. Had they succeeded, each stood to gain over £17,000, inclusive of their legal costs.
“This case highlights why there is a need for the government to tackle whiplash claims,” Markerstudy
said in a statement. “Both claimants sought to opportunistically take advantage of what was a minor coming together between two vehicles, by claiming they were injured when they were not. This is the right outcome to the case.”
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