Exaggerated Personal Injury Claim Solicitors
An accusation of making an exaggerated personal injury claim is a serious matter, and being found guilty of fundamental dishonesty carries grave consequences. There is the risk that not only could you be struck out by the court, which means losing any financial compensation that you may well have been entitled to, you may also be found in contempt of court, which can result in fines and even committal to prison.
If you are involved in a claim and have been accused of dishonesty or exaggeration, we recommend taking legal advice as swiftly as possible. At Clifford Johnston & Co, our contempt of court solicitors are skilled at assisting clients who are face accusations of exaggerating personal injury claims. Call us today for a free initial consultation.
What is an exaggerated personal injury claim?
It is very important when you make a personal injury claim that the details you give are accurate. Any exaggeration of any of the elements of your case with a view to increasing your potential compensation settlement is illegal and may result in you being charged with ‘fundamental dishonesty’.
In law, fundamental dishonesty can be any exaggeration or significant misrepresentation of the facts that you give when making a personal injury claim. For example, if you:
- over-exaggerate the extent of your injuries or symptoms
- make misleading statements about the impact on you physically as a result of your injury
- claim to be unable to work, when in fact you are able
- are not honest about the financial losses that you have suffered,
then you could be accused of exaggerating your claim, and the consequences can be punitive.
How is fundamental dishonesty proven?
When making a claim for damages following an injury or accident, you need to bear in mind that the defendant will do everything that they can to ensure that they pay as little compensation as possible. If they have reason to suspect that any aspect of your case is fraudulent, there are numerous ways in which they might investigate you, and if they find that you have been in any way dishonest, there is a very real chance that they will not need to pay you anything at all.
If they have suspicions about you, the defendant will investigate every aspect of your claim. They may place you under surveillance; many people have found their cases thrown out following the video footage of them behaving in ways that they have claimed they are not able to do as a result of their injury. They may go through your social media accounts for evidence that you have misrepresented the facts in your statement. So it is crucial, when making a personal injury claim that you only give accurate information, as what might seem to be a harmless exaggeration or a “white lie” is against the law and carries appropriate penalties.
What are the penalties for exaggerating a personal injury claim?
Contempt charges are serious, and the court takes a stern view of anyone who is found to be in contempt of court. In the first instance, if any part of your claim is found to be fraudulent, Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 allows the court to dismiss your entire claim for damages if they feel that you are guilty of fundamental dishonesty – so even if you have genuinely suffered an injury or sustained financial losses, you may forfeit your right to claim any damages. Additionally, you may also be ordered to pay costs for the other side. In the most serious cases, you may find yourself facing criminal proceedings and if found guilty, you may be committed to prison for a significant period of time. It’s crucial, therefore, as soon as you learn that you have been accused of exaggerating a personal injury claim, that you take legal advice without delay.
If you are accused of making an exaggerated personal injury claim and face an application for committal to prison, it’s possible that you may be eligible for Legal Aid to cover your costs. Regardless of your income, if you face a civil contempt of court case, it may be possible to apply. If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible, speak to one of our advisors who will be able to help you.
Why choose Clifford Johnston & Co?
We understand that the possibility of being found in contempt of court is worrying, and you are no doubt concerned about the implications. Whatever the circumstances, the legal experts at Clifford Johnston & Co are here to advise you. Building a strong defence case is key – we will work to ensure that you have the relevant documentation and evidence that you need offering guidance throughout. We can represent you at all stages and we always seek to ensure that you are fully informed and supported throughout.
Based in Manchester & Stockport, our exaggerated personal injury claim defence experts work with clients throughout England and Wales – speak to one of our advisors today and we’ll be happy to help you.