A firm of personal injury solicitors has been accused of putting pressure on doctors to exaggerate the extent of the injuries suffered by accident victims.
This news came to light during an employment tribunal when a former employee of Claim Time Solicitors said she was forced to leave the company after she expressed her concerns about this fraudulent practice. A consultant surgeon for the NHS has backed up her claims saying he no longer conducts medical assessments on behalf of the firm because it had asked him to alter his findings.
These allegations are bound to fuel the concern over the spreading personal injury compensation culture in the UK, and in particular the whiplash epidemic. It is notoriously hard to prove whiplash because X-rays do not pick it up.
Claim Time is a Birmingham based firm of personal injury lawyers. The 27-year-old employee who was pushed out of the firm told the tribunal that the firm regularly asked medical experts to alter their findings so that a client could claim more compensation. Furthermore, there were occasions when the partners wanted employees of the firm to change the medical reports.
The ex-employee is claiming unfair dismissal but the legal firm says she was incompetent and was fired so it could hire more qualified staff.
One of the problems with the current system is that it is easily manipulated. If a medical expert does not write the report the lawyers want, they just find another who will. Solicitors want to secure the most compensation they can for their clients so they can rake in a higher fee.
It has been suggested that the government should set up an independent panel of medical experts to assess whiplash victims. It has to be worth giving that idea a try!