The experts at NFU Mutual Insurance and DAC Beachcroft’s Casualty Fraud, together with their respective Complex Injury Experts, were successful in securing a hugely exaggerated bodily injury claim overturned, resulting in an impressive savings of over $ 800,000. £ for the insurer and the defendant.
The plaintiff, an employee of the defendant, claimed that she suffered injuries while working on a production line when an empty crate fell from a height and hit her in the arm.
Before prosecution, it was admitted that the incident had occurred and that there had been a breach of duty, although she was required to prove causation of the damage. However, the claimant sought to maximize damages and then presented a grossly inflated claim for past and future loss of earnings as well as a substantial claim for care and assistance.
The Claimant claimed that the accident left her with continued pain in her shoulders, back and legs, psychological injuries, severe restriction in mobility and need for care. She has not returned to work, said she relies heavily on her daughter to help her with personal care and take on all household chores. The Claimant also claimed that she could not do her shopping, that she was unable to walk more than 10 meters without the use of a wheelchair and that she needed a walking aid. for shorter distances. The level of her symptoms, she said, was so great that she could not tolerate even the slightest contact during medical examinations.
The Claimant’s daughter provided evidence in the form of a witness statement to verify the Claimant’s claims and also accompanied the Claimant to all medical appointments, including forensic examinations, to act as translator.
Suspicions that the nature of the symptoms and losses reported were disproportionate aroused following a minor work accident and despite feedback from a wide range of medical professionals and analyzes, no organic course was ‘could be identified.
As a result of these suspicions, the Claimant was placed under surveillance, which showed that she walked for many hours without the need for a wheelchair as well as with shopping bags. While on her way to be examined by the Respondent’s medical expert, the Claimant was observed carrying her wheelchair and easily lifting it into the trunk of her car, although she claimed to be incapable even to lift a kettle. Several hours after the examination, the Claimant was observed walking through stores without even a cane and was able to put shopping bags in the trunk of her daughter’s car.
It also became apparent that the Claimant was pursuing another back injury claim from a subsequent accident, failing to disclose the extent of either claim in an apparent effort to maximize her damages in the future. two cases.
Following the disclosure of the surveillance evidence, the Claimant provided no explanation as to the obvious discrepancy between her assertions and what the surveillance footage showed, but instead filed a notice of discontinuance.
This represents a significant saving for the insurer, highlights the advantages of proof of surveillance when it is proportionate to secure it, the importance of collaboration between subject matter experts and above all allows the client to know that it is strongly defended with a team of specialists both at NFU Mutual and at DAC Beachcroft.
Claire Laver, Partner at DAC Beachcroft, commented: “This represents a significant savings for NFU Mutual and was achieved by subject matter experts from two disciplines working together to achieve the desired result for the client.. “