A cyclist has been jailed for fraudulently claiming more than £3m in damages after being hit by a lorry.
The individual in question carried out a calculated scam, with the assistance of his wife and father-in-law, by telling insurers and his medical team that the brain injury he had suffered was so severe that he could not feed himself, work or recognise his own mother. His claims were exposed as exaggerated when video footage captured by private investigators showed him to be leading a normal life.
While the cyclist did indeed suffer a serious brain injury which required surgery, he did make a good recovery and the damages to which he was actually entitled were relatively modest in comparison to his claim. He launched a damages claim to cover 24-hour care, an extension to his house to accommodate his disability, holidays, travel and therapy costs.
The cyclist was sentenced to nine months imprisonment after admitting lying about his condition. His father-in-law was also sentenced for nine months for his part in the claim and his wife received a seven-month jail sentence suspended for two years.
Charlene McAuliffe, case manager in the personal injury team, said: “This is a clear and disappointing example of individuals attempting to take advantage of the situation for financial gain as well as an interesting example of the benefits of surveillance investigation. There can sometimes be concerns about the appropriateness of surveillance as it can be extremely upsetting for a genuine claimant to find that they have been followed and/or investigated.
“With this in mind, however, it is important that in cases where the insurers suspect that a claim is fraudulent or being deliberately exaggerated for financial gain, steps are taken to expose these individuals. Ultimately, it is the honest and genuine individual that ends up being the true victim when people try to cheat the system.”