It is now being reported by Steve Evans of Accident Exchange that the Court of Appeal have handed down judgment in their favour showing that insurers and their legal teams used fraudulent evidence to defeat credit hire claims now opening the way for a £130 million damages claim.
Accident Exchange is a massive provider of credit hire vehicles to accident victims whose vehicles are rendered unroadworthy following a collision. The way it works is that they provide a replacement vehicle whilst repairs are undertaken and the bill is recovered through the legal process. The rate of hire charged is higher to reflect the risk they take.
The insurers don’t like paying them and fight in court to have the rates reduced to reasonable spot hire rates by producing reports on the going rate for similar vehicles in the area. Up until recently they used a company called Autofocus to provide these reports but it became apparent that these reports, which were used in court, were fabricated and several employees have been prosecuted for contempt and perjury.
Accident Exchange have taken legal action to recover the money they lost based upon this fraudulent evidence and given the findings by the Court of Appeal that cases were “riddled with dishonesty” they now have good prospects of recovering the money they have lost that could run into tens of millions they claim.
This Judgment has only been handed down today (4th Feb 2012) and the details remain to be seen but this is a clear indication as to the extent of fraud now being perpetrated by insurers in a concerted effort to reduce payouts. And of course this is set against the backdrop of consistent claims by the insurance industry that the fraud lies on the claimant’s side of the fence.
There has never been such a dramatic example of the phrase “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.
More details will follow as the full judgment is released.