In October this year 84 defendants have appeared in court after being charged with committing fraud under in a new ‘crash for cash’ scam that is becoming more popular in the cash trapped UK. The implication is that fake road traffic accident claims arising from these scams will push up the cost of motoring in the UK due to increased insurance premiums.
The scam sees individuals deliberately crashing into other vehicles, and staging larger accidents involving numerous others in order to claim from insurance firms, often including false injuries. Surprisingly, those who have carried out a ‘crash for cash’ come from all walks of life, including a 71 year old woman from Cardiff.
Other stories are surfacing in the news regarding the increase of people involved in these scams. Insurance company Direct Line has even pulled together a list of the Top 10 ‘hotspots’ where fraudsters are likely to fake an accident. Top of the list is Trafford Park in Manchester, with popular roads such as the M40, M25 and M65 being noted as other hot spots for the scam.
The punishments for committing insurance fraud are harsh and long-term, with prosecution and possibly jail time. It is hoped that the severe punishment will deter those considering carrying out this scam, though with courts and prisons already under strain in the UK these scammers may not receive appropriate sentences.
This scam has arisen as the UK government seeks to further reform the law regarding compensation claims by targeting the common motor accident injuries specifically whiplash claims
. The full details of the government’s consultation on this issue have been published and can be viewed on the Ministry of Justice site
The best advice for drivers to avoid getting involved is the same principle as regular driving – drive safe, keep your distance and pay attention at all times. If you have been involved in an accident, and you suspect foul play, take as much information about the incident as possible and get in touch with your insurance company.
If you have been involved in a fraudulent accident, or road traffic accident contact Paul Rooney
for the best legal advice and guidance on motoring and criminal injury law.