How Would You Like To Pay £40,000 in Legal Fees?

That's exactly what one personal injury claiment has had to pay but perhaps not for the reasons you may think.
Cyclist Andy Airey thought he'd make a personal injury claim after an incident with a QBE insured driver.
Mr Airey claimed he was unable to continue his running and had to reduce his cycling activities due to the personal injury he had suffered. However, Bristol County Court found him fundamentally dishonest after information came to light contradicting his claim. He will now have to pay for the defendant's legal costs estimated to be around £40,000.

Airey stated he was in pain and had a loss of amenity, among other things. Law firm BLM discovered evidence contradicting these statements on the claimant's social media posts on Facebook and Strava. His social media posts showed evidence that Airey had run 10 miles in an event four weeks before his medical examination; he had completed a 100-kilometre cycle ride a fortnight before his check-up; 20-mile ride on the day of his appointment, and 102-mile ride several weeks after.

Insurance Fraud

Insurers detect on average over 125,000 fraudulent claims every year in the UK with a value of around £1.3 billion. Not only that, but there is also the cost of NHS and the courts time wasted. Estimations also predict that on average, the same number of dishonest claims also go undetected. The cost to insurers and policyholders is why over £200 million each year is invested in identifying those who try to fraud insurance companies.
Gross exaggeration of genuine injuries is just one of the many types of fraud that is prevalent in the insurance industry

The fraudulent attempt by Airey would have cost the insurer approximately £145,000. "Gross exaggeration of genuine injuries is just one of the many types of fraud that is prevalent in the insurance industry," stated Jon Radford, a claims manager at QBE's special investigations unit.

Edward Smethurst, an associate at BLM, stated "This is another lesson to fraudulent injury claimants and practitioners alike as to the importance of a claimant's social media presence. Although fault for the traffic collision was not contested, claiming an impaired ability to run or cycle while posting significant evidence to the contrary online will come back to bite you."

The £40,000 legal costs may not be the entire outcome of Mr Airey's fraudulent activity. Further consequences may come to light in the future. His job prospects may also be affected.

Reporting insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. Dishonest claims drive up prices for honest policyholders and make insurance more expensive. By reporting fraud, you can help identify perpetrators and, with the support of authorities, bring them to justice.

Suspect someone of insurance fraud? Then you should report them to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline or by filling out a form on the IFB website.

Call the IFB Cheatline

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