DWF advises Go North East on fundamental dishonesty claim

Legal business DWF has advised bus company Go North East on a fraudulent whiplash claim that was thrown out of court in its entirety late last year after accelerometer and telematics technology proved the bus was travelling at less than 7 miles per hour at the time of the collision.

The claim followed a collision between two buses in September 2015, which caused minor damage to one of the buses and resulted in a Sunderland woman claiming she suffered a neck and shoulder injury after being jolted during the impact. The unnamed local resident subsequently claimed damages up to £5,000 for a neck and shoulder injury.

CCTV footage captured the low speed collision and on-board accelerometer technology proved that the bus did not exceed a speed of 7 miles per hour, far slower than the passenger claimed.  An independent expert said the g-forces involved were below the level that could cause injury.

The Judge sitting at Sunderland County Court said the evidence led him to believe any injury the woman presented as part of the claim was not due to the accident and dismissed the case completely, ordering the claimant to pay Go North East's costs of over £5,000.

DWF lawyer Julie Francis who represented the bus company said: "Telematics and technology are playing an increasingly important role in establishing the facts in cases just like this one for Go North East.

"DWF is a market-leader in the use of innovative telematics technology, which converts accelerometer data into a format admissible in court and levels the playing field for insurers and clients at risk of false claims."   

Managing Director of Go North East Kevin Carr said: "These cases highlight the problem of a widespread assumption that any road traffic accident automatically results in a right to claim financial compensation." 

Nigel Teasdale

Partner - Head of Motor, Fraud, Costs and Claimant Teams

I am Head of the Motor, Fraud, Costs and Claimant teams at DWF and am responsible for the operational delivery of those teams. My background is in dealing with motor claims, particularly large loss.