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Compensation claims rise as 'no win, no fee' culture grows

GPs are struggling to deal with a rising tide of patients who are faking injuries so that they can claim compensation. Nine out of ten GPs report having had people come to them with exaggerated or completely false injuries . A recent survey indicated that more than half of all GPs have seen an increase in fake patients over the last two years. Two thirds have seen an increase in 10 years. One in four had seen a surge since the recession began.

GPs blame the 'no win, no fee' personal injury lawyers who advertise on TV. Virtually every doctor (98%) who responded to the survey said that had seen patients who appeared to be exaggerating an injury in order to claim compensation. 85% of GPs said they had seen patients who were clearly making up the whole ailment. The most common injury to fake is whiplash from a car accident. Doctors also report people trying to fake post-traumatic stress and depressions also, with these claims being on the increase too.

The NHS is also losing out as the target for many claims. There has been a rise of 25% in personal injury claims over the past six years. Each year the health service spends around £8 million in consultation fees – but this is dwarfed by the nearly £2 billion the insurance industry pays out in compensation each year. Whiplash payments alone are responsible for 20% of everyone's car insurance premiums.

What these hapless individuals seem to fail to grasp is that they are actually acting illegally. They are defrauding their employers of time they should be working and they are defrauding the insurance companies of money. Anyone found guilty of fraud will have a criminal record, could lose their job and go to prison.

Although the vast majority of GPs said the increase in fake injuries was driven by people trying to get compensation, other common reasons cited were people trying to get time off work (66%), people who are hypochondriacs (13%) and 31% of people simply wanted attention!

If you are unlucky enough to suffer in a car accident, or are attacked etc, you need to speak with your insurers. Having the right level of insurance is important – talk to Westhill Insurance Services, they will guide you as to the right type of insurance to have: then when you have a genuine claim to make, you know you are in good hands.

And to those who are faking their injuries and costing us all dearly in increased premiums, we wish you a speedy recovery! Also, bear in the mind the little boy who cried wolf........

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 16th December, 2010