accident claims

Accident Claims Launch Housing Disrepair Compensation Unit

After years of success in the accident claims industry, our team at accidentclaims.co.uk are delighted to announce the launch of HDCU, the Housing Disrepair Compensation Unit.

Starting with the North West, the Housing Disrepair Compensation Unit aims to inform all council and housing association tenants of their rights to repairs and potential compensation.  We formed HDCU this year after a rise in the number of council related incidents that appear to have been overlooked and consequently were in breach of legislation.

As we operate in different areas of compensation claims we have a large number of existing clients with accident claims, PPI claims etc.  We found a large number of our clients were contacting us for advice on their current housing situation, many who were at breaking point with the state of their property and the potential personal injury risks.  The surge over the last 3 months meant we had a duty to form something more concrete in order to represent large numbers of clients and to start producing informative literature on housing disrepair claims to educate.

In a large number of cases we found a pattern of reported problems not being ‘recorded’ until the tenant had made numerous complaints. Once the council had ‘acknowledged’ the problem they went through an identical process which resulted in no repairs. E.g a tenant reports a problem with their roof which eventually gets someone out to the property.  Scaffolding is put up against the property and its identified that the roof requires extensive and expensive repairs – rather than complete the repairs, the scaffolding remains for some time only to be removed with no work undertaken. In some cases we found that eventually the required roof repairs did take place but sometimes years after the problems were reported.  Required roof repairs can not only have an impact on your health, but your personal belongings. As well as getting the repair completed, making a housing disrepair claim can result in compensation for other related problems.

We’ve teamed up with a number of charities who share the same passion as us – helping their communities, whether financially or just for some advice.  Our goals are simple, make people aware and put things right!

If you have contacted your landlord within the last 5 years regarding any housing repairs then you may be due compensation.

The government offers some guidance on housing disrepair legal obligations but if in doubt contact our specialist housing team

Accident Claims in Scottish Schools Down by over 400%

Scotland’s largest teaching union has revealed they have seen a significant drop in the number of teachers making accident claims at work.

Compensation pay-outs for accident claims at school in 2013 totalled £300,000, £1.5m short of that paid out in 2012.

Is questionable as to what is the cause for the dramatic fall over the past 12 months. Have employers improved workplaces to the extent that it has ultimately led to a reduced number of accident claims? Maybe it’s just the claims culture that is starting to hit home.

The difference between an accident at work and a whiplash claim is that you are claiming against your employer. With more people out of work and a struggling economy, maybe not as many want to risk their relationship with their employer by making a compensation claim against them. Whilst you may never be sacked for making a claim against your company, it would surely leave a sour taste in the mouth of your boss. Not all accident claims at work are down to negligence from the employer and pupil behaviour can often be responsible for staff sustaining injuries.

Is there a link between the decrease in claims made by teachers and improved behaviour in school?

Some of the biggest and most interesting pay-outs of 2013.

-£131,000 for a teacher who has long term wrist injuries after being assaulted

-£12,500 after a slip on the floor whilst it was being cleaner – no signs however!

-£4,400 for a teacher after they were punched in the face by a pupil

It will be interesting to observe accident figures throughout 2014 to see if workplace injuries continue to decline. In the last few years new areas of compensation have emerged which may have had an overall impact on the decision to make a work related claim. PPI claims have been stealing the headlines for the past couple of years and with many consumers getting in excess of 10k it begs the question as to whether they need to claim when they have a minor accident. It’s important to note that a lot of people look for compensation for financial gain. Wouldn’t 10k in most people’s pockets make them think twice before trying to claim 1-2k for a minor work injury?

Do you see compensation claims as financial gain we are entitled to or should they be used solely for when you have lost out financially as a result of an injury?

Accident Claims in School cost £3million across 3 Cities

Accident claims at school have hit the news again after a Freedom of Information Act request showed more than £3million has been paid out over the last five years from just three cities.

Manchester, Birmingham and Greater London have paid out a combined total of £3.3million in compensation claims for injuries that have taken place within the school grounds.

£10k+ has been paid out for more serious claims that include broken bones and severed fingers.

As these claims only relate to a handful of UK cities it’s estimated that the bill across Britain is likely to include millions more.

Birmingham was the safest of the three cities with just under 200k being paid out to claimants. London and Manchester both paid out just over £1.5million. Surprisingly Manchester and London both had a similar number of pay-outs despite a greater number of schools in the London area.

Accident Claims guru Josh Donn questioned how health and safety was being managed at schools across the cities “It’s clear that the safety of children in schools is not being managed effectively. Funding needs to be given to schools to improve the overall safety as the taxpayer is ultimately paying the price shelling out on compensation claims. The majority of compensation claims we see involving schools could have been easily avoided if the children were monitored more effectively. Inevitably children are always going to have accidents but it’s imperative that local councils take responsibility for the safety measures put in place in schools across their boroughs. In the recent Freedom of Information Request once child received over £6,000 after they were burnt on chemicals during a class – a clear example of an injury that could have been prevented with giving the staff better training.”

One child received £13,500 after a tile fell off the school roof hitting them on the head. Critics argue that if the general maintenance in a school was improved it could cut down accident claims by at least 30%.

Has your child been subject to an accident at school that was due to the failings of a staff member? Accident Claims have a specialist team that can give you reliable claims advice if your child has been injured at school.

The End Of Referral Fees?

The Government have announced that from sometime next year in an effort to reduce the number of accident claims they intend making the payment of a referral fee illegal. They point to the fact that claims have increased due to the efforts of the many claims management companies which they says encourages victims to claim. Whether that will work is questionable.

In relation to a genuine victim why should he not use a claims management company who appoint a top firm of personal injury lawyers to represent him. Insurance Companies themselves derive much of their income from passing on details of accident claims to Lawyers in return for huge fees. Admiral Insurance have stated that 6% ofits profits is derived from referral fees.

Therefore it is likely that insurance Companies and Lawyer’s will find some ways of circumventing these new laws as and when they come into force. Many Lawyers and Accident Companies are talking together and forming joint ventures as a marketing exercise which would also be legal. What is wrong with a victim being “encouraged “ to claim if his claim is valid. The
answer is “ Nothing”

We feel that sense should prevail and the only person who should be penalised is the fraudulent claimant who clouds the water for all the genuine accident claims victims.

The real problem will in the interpretation of exactly “ What is a referral fee?

‘Crash for Cash’ Accident Claims Scam Foiled

Another ‘crash for cash’ accident claims scam has been foiled with the culprit being sentenced to 10 months imprisonment.

Mr Khalid was found guilty after he had intentionally swerved in front of a teenage driver before slamming his brakes on to cause the crash. Mr Khalid later made an insurance claim putting all liability of the vulnerable driver who he had targeted. To make matters worse the defendant persuaded a family friend to take part in the criminal activity so he could later pass the blame on to them. Essex based Khalid now serves a prison sentence for conspiring to defraud.

The judge sentencing Khalid labelled his behaviour as ‘despicable’. Major crackdowns on ‘crash for cash’ accident claims have been taken place across 2013 in an attempt to eradicate insurance fraud from a rapidly growing market. Insurance fraud is nothing new as Bolton based firm Keoghs have been actively foiling insurance scams for longer than a decade.

crash accident claims Accident Claims fraud investigator Holly Paley says: “We regularly see claims that raise suspicion as things just don’t add up. We report any suspected incidents to the Insurance Fraud Bureau who have the systems to investigate in more detail. One of the biggest concerns is that some personal injury solicitors are accepting these cases in an attempt to stay afloat in difficult times. The whole industry needs to rally together to stamp out fraud and that means questioning claimants in detail to ensure we are acting responsibly”.

The majority of scams seem to be operated by intimidating gangs who target vulnerable drivers. Most drivers will not want to confront the individuals involved and critics argue that more needs to be done to avoid fraudulent accident claims slipping through the net. It was only recently that an individual successfully claimed their tenth pay-out over a couple of years. When there is little evidence available the laws of the road can favour the culprits.

Some drivers are now having CCTV cameras installed on their dashboards to avoid spurious claims being made against them. To be on the safe side why not try MI-Witness.

Have you been the victim of a ‘crash for cash’ scam?

whiplash claims

10 Year Old Wins £4.5m Medical Negligence Accident Claim

Yesterday the Daily Express reported on how it’s the lawyers who benefit from the NHS compensation fund and how too much has been put aside for litigation. Accident Claims explains further;

Today a 10 year old girl has won over £4m in compensation after suffering serious head injuries during her birth at Norfolk and Norwich NHS hospital.

The NHS denied any responsibility for her injuries but eventually agreed to pay over 70pc of the damages.  If the NHS would have agreed to pay compensation at the offset how much would this have saved the litigation fund?

Prior to her birth Emily Dye was starved of oxygen leading to the development of cerebral palsy

Included in Emily’s settlement is a payment of £112,000 to her parents for the devoted care they have given over the last decade.

Emily needs full time care for the rest of her life and will permanently have learning difficulties.

Top 10 Fraudulent Postcodes

Fraudulent accident claims are prevalent in the UK. The charity Crimestoppers has put together a league table of the country’s worst offending postcodes for “crash for cash” scams. Quite remarkably a Bradford or Birmingham postcode came out in 9 of the 10 hotspots available.

Worst Offending Postcodes SOURCE: Crimestoppersaccident claims fraud

  1. BD9 – Bradford
  2. B10 – Birmingham
  3. BD3 – Bradford
  4. B11 – Birmingham
  5. BD9 – Bradford
  6. B8 – Birmingham
  7. B9 – Birmingham
  8. B25 – Birmingham
  9. B7 – Birmingham
  10. BL3 – Bolton

The charities new publications are part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the impact of frivolous accident claims and essentially to put a stop to the large-scale ‘crash for cash’ scams happening on a daily basis.

Drivers in Bradford and Birmingham are being urged to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Crimestoppers has a hotline available for anyone to get in contact if they have information involving activity relating to insurance fraud. Insurance companies have been working hard with the charity providing information on key areas that need to be monitored more closely.

Typically a ‘crash for cash’ scam involves criminals setting up a crash that will lead to exaggerated accident claims and car hire bills. Insurance scams are being run by organised criminal gangs in what is becoming an increasingly lucrative market.

Accident Claims director Josh Donn commented; “It’s always going to be a difficult battle to put an end to exaggerated personal injury claims. The disappointing thing is that scams are now being run by sophisticated organised gangs and members of the public can feel intimidated standing up to them. We recently spoke to a gentleman who was the victim of a ‘flash for cash’ accident but didn’t proceed with a compensation claim out of fear. These gangs are targeting vulnerable people which make the process of stopping them even more difficult. All the staff at Accident Claims are committed to preventing insurance fraud and we report any suspicious incidents or claims to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

As is the case with personal injury it is very difficult to prove that someone is in fact scamming the system. Whiplash claims are difficult to disprove and compensation can be achieved for even the slightest of bumps. Fraud detection systems have come a long way over the last decade. Defendant firms like Keoghs have made significant investments into their own fraud detection system many years ago which sees them successfully find and put a stop to a number of fraudulent accident claims.