Rarely a day can go by without headlines of “cash for crash” claims adding £90 on to everyone’s insurance being splashed all over the media. The constant whine of compensation culture and whiplash fraud pumped out by well funded PR departments of monolithic insurance companies would have you believe that everyone injured in an RTA is the spawn of the Devil.
Having represented accident victims for over 25 years I can tell you this is just patently false and I regularly come across cases where my genuine clients, often seriously injured, face defences from insurers and their clients that are tantamount to fraud. A recent case I won highlights the point.
Adam Evans is not just a hobby biker he depends on riding to earn a living as a London motorcycle courier. Constantly exposed to the worst examples of driving he realised that collisions were almost an occupational hazard and invested compensation from a previous accident claim in a state of the art GoPro helmet camera system that he religiously has on record mode and carries a day’s supply of battery power to be sure.
He filtered to the front of a queue of traffic, stopping briefly at the red light. The junction ahead of him is the intersection of Cromwell Road and Earls Court Road in London, a busy traffic light controlled box junction. The video of his journey clearly shows the lights facing him change from red to red and amber and he sets off having a clear road ahead. To his immediate right a stationary Volkswagen Sharan can be seen lurching forward directly into collision with him sending him spinning. I repeat the video is absolutely clear that the Sharan moves forward causing Adam’s injuries. Check it out here……
I was amazed to receive a categorical denial of liability from the insurers and the solicitors acting on behalf of the claimant who claimed he was “stationary when your client travelling on his motorbike collided with the front passenger side of our client’s vehicle”.
As good aggressive injury claim lawyers we had the bottle and the support from our client to issue court proceedings forthwith in the face of this incredible denial of liability. Our incredulity increased further when we received a formal defence to the proceedings which, although badly drafted, plead the driver’s case as “ Whilst maintaining a stationary position at the mouth of the yellow hatched area, the Claimant travelled along Cromwell Road at speed and collided with the front passenger side arch and bumper region of the Defendant’s stationary vehicle”.
The Defendant himself then signs after the line “I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.”
Really? I urge you to watch the video and consider the moral fortitude of a driver who, just to save a few quid on his next insurance renewal, claims in a formal court document to have been stationary when the video evidence clearly shows he set off into collision with the innocent biker.
Adam Evans as a courier faced not only a painful recovery from his injuries but also disruption to his ability to earn a living whilst his trusty steed was repaired. “People in London are often too busy to stop and offer to be a witness so having video evidence is essential” he said.
Adam, with our help as bike accident lawyers, achieved a settlement when the defendant, faced with the video evidence, caved in and paid our client his rightful compensation.
Lampkin & Co have recently heard that the GoPro Video Camera used by Adam Evans to help us prove his case became broken due to excessive use. Upon hearing this we had no hesitation in buying a new camera for him at our own cost. We sincerely hope he won’t be involved in a further accident but if he is then we will have helped him secure the footage that will be used to prove his case.
This clear example shows two things. Firstly how essential video evidence is now becoming and secondly how low some people are prepared to stoop to prevent innocently injured accident victims from being paid out correctly by their insurers. So for every story about a dubious whiplash claim this shows there are also dubious defences.