Wednesday 24 February, 2016
A claimant who attempted to bring a late notified claim for personal injury, 10 months after the accident had taken place, had his claim struck out and was ordered to pay the defendant’s costs in the sum of £5,500 because his claim was found to be ‘fundamentally dishonest’.
Derick Sage had been in a collision with Cathryn Stringer, insured by Markerstudy, who decided to defend the claim to trial.
Before Sage’s trial , he had endeavoured to amend his claim, alleging that he had been left unable to work since the accident. This was later disputed at a hearing in October 2015 at Bristol County Court where District Judge Watson ruled that:
- the claimant hadn’t been injured as he had claimed; and
- his inability to work had nothing to do with the accident, but was due to other medical complaints.
- the claimant never mentioned the accident to his GP despite being a regular attender.
- the claimant claimed for the costs of treatment for his injuries but never received any treatment.
- the claim was fundamentally dishonest.
Sage was therefore ordered to pay the defendant’s costs in the sum of £5,500 and lost the protection that was afforded to him under the Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting regime.
Mr Nick Hilton, Third Party Claims Manager, at Markerstudy Insurance Co Ltd. said, “Markerstudy has processes in place to ensure that late claims and cases of fraud are defeated. Until the reforms announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement are delivered, late claims will continue to burden insurers and keep premiums unduly high.”
DWF Director, Jewels Chamberlain said, “This is another example of Markerstudy’s successful late claims strategy coming to fruition. Mr Sage was intent on pushing his dubious claim all the way to trial. We are delighted that his injury claims were proved false and that the court ordered him to pay Markerstudy’s legal costs.”
The issues surrounding late claims have been addressed by the Insurance Fraud Taskforce in their final report. A consultation on the reforms is to be announced in the Autumn Statement over the course of the next two months.