Ten-Month Custodial Sentence for Fraudulent Injury Claimant


Most personal injury claims are entirely genuine, but there will always be individuals who seek to exploit opportunities to acquire compensation by dishonest means. As was shown by a recent High Court case, however, they do so at risk of serious sanction.

After a man launched a personal injury claim for an alleged accident at work, seeking £600,000 in damages, the defendant’s insurer provided evidence to assert that he had made fraudulent statements, forged documents and grossly exaggerated his injuries in pursuit of his claim.

The man’s claim was eventually struck out and the insurer brought contempt of court proceedings against him, highlighting the exaggerated assertions he had made and the use of an allegedly forged birth certificate for one of his daughters that he had relied upon during the course of the proceedings.

The Court found that a very serious act of contempt of court had taken place. It observed that there was an extremely marked disparity between the man’s real ability, as captured on surveillance video by the insurer, to carry out daily activities, compared with what was described repeatedly in his various witness statements and acted out in his attempts to mislead the medical and legal experts.

In imposing a custodial sentence, the Court took into account the man’s previous good character and admission of contempt. He was sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment, reduced from a potential 15 months.

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