Our fraud team have successfully defended a fraudulent personal injury claim involving the fabrication of evidence and false reports of the claimant's death on the eve of trial.
The claimant alleged that as he was passing the insured's mobile food van (which was situated in a supermarket car park) he slipped on a puddle of oil and fell to the floor, hitting his head on a bollard and losing some teeth.
The claim was initially referred into the fraud team on the basis the insured had absolutely no knowledge of any incident.
This seemed strange given the fact the claimant appeared to have sustained quite severe injuries, that he (on his own sketch plan) fell right outside the mobile food van and that he stated that he remonstrated with the insured.
Further investigation revealed various other concerns:
We amended our Defence to plead fraud and the Trial was initially scheduled for June 2021. Shortly prior to the Trial, the claimant's solicitors came off record and ceased to act.
A call was received a few days before Trial, purportedly from the claimant's son, stating that the claimant had died suddenly and so would not be at Trial.
In truth, we were somewhat sceptical, and asked for both further information and a death certificate to show to the court.
Miraculously, we were then told that there had been a mistake, the claimant was actually fine and would be at Trial, much to our relief.
The matter eventually proceeded to Trial on the 26 July. The court found that the claimant had been fundamentally dishonest and awarded us costs in the sum of GBP 13,000.00, with a fraud saving on top of GBP 17,000.00.
As a side note, the court was also confident the claimant was very much alive.