Injury solicitors say that criminals are stepping up their efforts when it comes to ‘cash for crash’ personal injury claims, with reports rolling in that fraudsters are filing buses with accomplices before colliding them with their own vehicles in order to maximise their whiplash payout.
The passengers go on to make fraudulent claims against unsuspecting insurers, with the scammers raking in ill-gotten gains to the tune of millions of pounds every year across the country, experts say. One recently investigated instance of fraud involved 36 stooges making personal injury compensation claims against the insurance company of one bus after it was rammed into by an Audi TT in Cheshire.
Five additional incidents in the area were investigated by local detectives, with an investigation spanning 18 months in order to locate and catch the criminals. Police officials understand that each incident can be traced back to a single underworld gang that has been organising the scams.
Justice secretary Kenneth Clarke brought the issue into the spotlight at a recent summit held between government ministers and insurance industry bosses in order to brainstorm strategies for cracking down on the criminal activity. Thanks to newly-proposed measures that emerged from the summit, those claiming whiplash injuries will be subjected to a much higher level of scrutiny by specialised teams of medical professionals before they are permitted to make a compensation claim.
The number of claims made that originate from road traffic accidents has increased by 70 per cent over the last six years, even though the number of actual incidents occurring over the same period of time has gone down by 23 per cent, official figures say.