Staveley Head

January 31, 2011 00:30 ET

92% of GPs Say Personal Injury Claims Are Exaggerated

CHESHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 31, 2011) - The results of a recent survey among 250 GPs conducted by a leading insurance company indicate that 92% of them feel that patients personal injuries are exaggerated when making an insurance claim. They say that whiplash is the most commonly exaggerated claim.

As a result it is anticipated that insurance companies will carry out a greater degree of covert surveillance in high value personal injury claims where they suspect the nature and extent of the injuries sustained have been fraudulently stated. Surveillance is legally permitted in public places but not in the injured party's own home. The court decides if surveillance evidence will be permitted, but it is the duty of both the claimant's and defendant's lawyers to ensure that the claim is genuine before reaching court and that the court's time is not wasted.

In order for the courts to permit video surveillance evidence it must be of good quality, presented in chronological order and supported by a statement from the investigating agent reconciling the video with his written log. Defendants need to comply with all requirements in respect of making surveillance films otherwise the evidence will be deemed inadmissible and incur court costs.

Claimants who have acted dishonestly will also incur costs and have their award for compensation reduced or denied. Claimants should make sure all the facts entered on their claim form are accurate, and should not claim to be unable to perform an action which they are in fact capable of. The correct extent of the debilitation should be stated and not overstated. They should be precise about the actions for which they need assistance and should not attempt to carry out those actions unaided.

A spokesman for Staveley Head, a specialist in personal injury claims, said "We all feel a great deal of sympathy for people who have genuinely been injured and believe they have the right to suitable compensation. But there should be no place in the system for those who purposely corrupt the extent and the value of their injuries."

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