Moffat & Co Solicitors

Moffat & Co Solicitors
Accident Compensation Claim Solicitors Scotland
PO Box 28287
Edinburgh
Scotland
EH9 2WU
Telephone:
0131 662 6988
Fax:
0131 667 8175

MASS Motor Accident Solicitors Society

Moffat & Co Solicitors Over 25 years of experience at your service

Are fraudulent accident compensation claims on the rise?

Fraudulent accident compensation claims have been on the increase in England and Wales for a number of years. Recent evidence suggests that ‘cash for crash’ gangs are now targeting Scotland.

What is ‘Crash for Cash’?

There are many types of fraudulent accident claims. The most common, according to the Automobile Association, is the exaggeration or fabrication of whiplash. Whiplash is a condition that has few or no exterior symptoms, so the diagnosis is based solely on the claimant’s testimony. With details of generic symptoms available on the Internet, it is small wonder that this has become the most popular form of fraud amongst unscrupulous motorists.

However, crime of this sort has become more organised and ‘crash for cash’ gangs use underhand techniques to embroil innocent motorists into their activities. One of the most common forms of cash for crash ruses is for the fraudsters to break suddenly, often at a t-junction or roundabout, and without warning. Many crash for cash gangs disengage the rear brake lights, so the following car has no idea that they are stopping. The car behind often then hits the rear of the fraudsters’ car – which is exactly what they had planned. With photographic evidence and witness statements, their claims become that much more plausible. Some fraudsters will offer the innocent party a chance to avoid court costs or higher insurance premiums with an on-the-spot cash settlement.

More sophisticated rings will contact owners who cannot afford to run their cars and stage a crash for multiple whiplash claims. The car owner gets to claim on their insurance and the fraudsters receive compensation. The cost of these incidents to the innocent motorist is estimated to add around £40 to the cost of each insurance premium. In addition, those with genuine claims are finding that their cases are taking longer to process. As lawyers become more aware of fraudulent practice, cases are scrutinised for even the slightest hint of suspicion.

Scotland a Target?

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has compiled a list of 125 fraudulent car crash claim hotspots in the UK. The higher a town or city features on the list, the greater the likelihood that innocent motorists will be caught up in a crash for cash scam. Glen Marr, director of the IFB, says that: “Glasgow comes in at 63 and Edinburgh at 85 – so they are on the list and climbing up, but not at the top. As we target areas of high activity, unfortunately, the pattern is the gangs move on to new areas. So, as some postcodes come down our hotspot list, others go up.”

The cost of motoring is at an all-time high. Fuel is in excess of £6 per gallon and the cost of subsidising the insurance industry’s battle against fraud is one that the innocent driver can ill afford. While Scotland is less prone to fraudulent activity than England, it seems that gangs are waking up to the idea that an unprepared legal system may be perfect to exploit. Unless lawyers find a way to crack down on fraudulent claims, Scotland may feel the financial ramifications of these activities sooner rather than later.

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Testimonials

Since contacting Stan I was continously informed of the development and progress of each step of my claim. Stan was persistent and patient throughout the whole process and reassured me he would win me the compensation I deserved - and he was true to his word. I am extremely happy with the outcome of my claim and this is all thanks to Stan.

Sarah

My case was dealt with personally by Stan Moffat and what a brilliant guy. His office contacted me personally by telephone at the start of my claim to explain who they were and what they would be doing for me. All through the case I was kept fully informed of all actions either by e-mail or by letter and reassured by Stan several times of any queries I had.

It is very seldom that a solicitor will take the time to speak personally at any time with you without getting run through secretaries etc. I commend this man for that as this was a very upsetting and important time for me and he did everything in his power to make this as easy and as swift as possible for me.

I highly recommend the service that this firm brings and the speed that they move at.

J McMahon

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