Easy claims drive up premiums

Whiplash: Research is ongoing, but proving someone is lying about it is difficult.
Whiplash: Research is ongoing, but proving someone is lying about it is difficult.
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Action Desk today reveals how the compensation industry allows motorists to claim for injury following the slightest bump - and without any evidence.

We responded to a random text claiming ‘you could win up to £4,000 for the accident you had’ and, when called by a Llanelli-based claims company, made up a story about having a sore neck after a shunt.

It exposed a system which even the insurance companies say is ‘dysfunctional’ - and they play a central part in it. They rake in millions in referral fees from selling details of accident victims.

Marcus Redmond, of Total Compensation Claims, said a whiplash claim could be lodged without any evidence of medical treatment because it was almost impossible to independently diagnose.

And because it can develop months, or even years, after an incident, insurance companies will pay up to close a case rather than risk a bigger claim at a later date.

But it was important not to accept the first offer.

He said: “The lowest threshold is self-medication for eight weeks, say with paracetamol and Deep Heat. You don’t have to provide evidence, just say you were in pain.

“The majority of insurance companies pay up within two months. The maximum for self-medicated whiplash is £4,000.

“Solicitors will come to your house, take a statement and send it to the other side. You’ll probably have to go for a medical. It’ll be a doctor working for our solicitor and it’ll probably only take five minutes.

“Say your neck hurts and back aches. With whiplash it’s very difficult to say there’s no injury, it’s more or less a formality.

“The insurance company will make four offers, my advice is to turn down the first three.”

Marcus explained that claimants keep every penny of their compensation. His £600 fee and that of the solicitors - “they get a lot more” - were paid by the other side’s insurance company.

And in the event that the claim went to court and they lost, his costs were insured against loss.

When he was told he was speaking to The Star, Marcus said he stood by everything he’d said. The firm claims it is regulated by the Ministry of Justice.