Personal injury solicitors will be aware that there have been a lot of complaints in the press recently that the UK’s compensation culture encourages fraud. However, fraudsters should be aware that they may not get away with deceiving insurance companies.
LV= recently called for the law to be changed after it won a contempt of court case against a family accused of helping a woman fake her disability in order to win personal injury compensation.
Minaxi Shah claimed compensation after being in a traffic accident with a customer of LV= in December 2005. In her personal injury claim, Shah said the accident left her severely disabled and in need of assistance for up to eight hours a day. She was receiving incapacity benefit and the overall claim was valued at more than £650,000.
Shah’s husband Anil, and daughter Neha provided the court with signed statements saying that the claimant was telling the truth.
However, LV= became suspicious and obtained evidence showing that Shah was far from disabled, and was in fact still working as an accountant, the same job she had before the accident.
Martin Milliner, the technical claims director at LV=, said this landmark case sends a clear message to people that try to defraud insurance companies and also to those who condone or support such action. Although this is a significant victory for the insurance industry, the law needs to be changed to deter fraudsters. Currently, fraudsters can still keep the compensation they received for the accepted portion of the claim.
The three family members each received jail sentences of between three and six months for their part in the deception.