Just picture this
scenario. You are approaching a roundabout in your car and there
is a vehicle stopped in front of you, apparently waiting for a
gap in the traffic in order to continue around the roundabout.
You stop behind this car, and then it very gently rolls back and
collides, at a low speed, with your vehicle. The occupants
(there are usually more than one person in the car) get out and
apologised profusely, you swap insurance details and then wait
for your insurer to let you know that you can have your car
repaired at the other person's expense.
Sadly, this does not happen. You learn that the other driver has
alleged that you drove into the back of his or her vehicle, and
that the consequence is at least one case of whiplash injury.
You protest that firstly the accident did not happen in that
way, and that the vehicle rolled into yours; and secondly that
it happened at such a low speed that no one could possibly have
been injured. The insurance company however let you know that
they have been invoiced for repairs to the rear of the other
vehicle; and yet you cannot recall seeing any damage there
whatsoever. Congratulations, you have been caught up in a big
There are parts of cities such as Bradford, Birmingham and
Manchester where this sort of con is all too common, and indeed
there have been arrests of gang members who have been involved
in multiple incidents of this kind. Apart from those who do it
on a full-time basis however there have been innumerable
incidents where seemingly honest people have also pulled off the
same stunt. It is hard not to come to the conclusion that
certain communities look upon crimes of this sort as being a
perfectly acceptable way to supplement an income.
Unfortunately, it is one which insurance companies find it very
difficult to contest. Proving whether or not someone is
suffering from pain for a whiplash injury is extremely difficult
and when cases are brought to court the outcome is very rarely
favourable for the insurers unless they have specific evidence
with which to contest a claim. In addition, legal cases like
this can be very expensive for them, particularly if the
plaintive is backed by a very experienced legal claims lawyer,
and the case is being funded by legal aid.
Every single penny that the insurance companies have to pay out
comes out of the premiums that we have to pay for our car
insurance; so we are the ultimate losers.