Recently, a woman who staged a fall over a crate at a store in Bradford and brought a claim for compensation, has been given a suspended prison sentence for fraud.
A suspicious staff member kept hold of CCTV showing the woman tripping over the crate in 2013 after two accomplices had placed it on the floor. One accomplice was even seen to be taken a photograph of the crate shortly before the staged fall.
She claimed to have suffered several injuries, however the insurer brought a counter claim against her at Bradford Crown Court. The claim was ruled to be “fundamentally dishonest”. It is thought to be the first private prosecution of its kind. The judge suspended her 21-month jail term for two years.
Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 provides that in a claim for damages in respect of personal injury, where the court finds that the claimant is entitled to damages, but where, upon an application by the defendant for the dismissal of the claim, the court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the claimant has been ‘fundamentally dishonest’, the court must dismiss the claim “unless it is satisfied that the Claimant would suffer substantial injustice if the claim were dismissed.”
Rule 44.16 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) also provides for an exception to the general rule on qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) such that orders for costs can be enforced against the claimant where the claim is found to be ‘fundamentally dishonest’.
These cases should send a significant warning to those few dishonest claimants that you maybe caught out and if you are, the consequences are significant and it is clear that each case will turn on its facts.
At Jordans Solicitors we understand that, as a victim of an accident, you may need help and support to recover the correct level of compensation. We have a dedicated team of lawyers able to assist you in pursuing a claim for compensation with offices across Yorkshire in Dewsbury, Horsforth, Selby and Wakefield.