Crackdown on bogus whiplash claims continues

7th October 2013

The nationwide crackdown on bogus whiplash claims has gathered momentum after evidence emerged of one scam that went wrong.

Smart Witness, which produces accident cameras designed to ensure that innocent parties are not blamed for road accidents, has released footage of one attempted whiplash scam that involved a high-speed crash on the M25.

In the video, a Ford Galaxy containing four people swerves violently across three lanes of the motorway and collides with a lorry – an incident that resulted in four separate whiplash claims being made against the haulier that owned the lorry, with a potential total cost of £75,000.

However, when evidence of the incident was reviewed, it became clear that the recklessness of the driver at the wheel of the Ford Galaxy had caused the crash, not the lorry driver – whose vehicle had not strayed at all – and the dispute was quickly dismissed.

It is the latest high-profile incident in an attempted nationwide crackdown on bogus whiplash claims.

According to AA figures, around 550,000 whiplash claims are filed in the UK every year, but experts estimate that up to two-thirds of these are bogus, which results in £1 billion a year being paid out in fraud.

Over the last seven years, there has been a 60 per cent rise in the number of personal injury claims despite the number of reported accidents on UK roads falling by 20 per cent over the same period.

Smart Witness managing director Simon Marsh explained that whiplash claims boosted by no-win, no-fee claims are adding up to £90 to the average UK policy.

He added: "This is real problem, particularly for hauliers and fleet managers who are running large numbers of vehicles and could be targeted by these fraudsters every week. This new video perfectly illustrates the problems responsible motorists face."

As blame is nearly always attached to the driver who hits the vehicle from the rear, motorists are at the mercy of bogus claims and increasingly looking for ways to safeguard themselves against accidents, Mr Marsh concluded.