A GROUP of whiplash fraudsters have been ordered to pay an innocent van driver £40,000 in one of the largest ‘crash for cash’ claims in history.
A driver and three passengers were found guilty of deliberately causing a crash in a bid to pocket the money from bogus personal injury claims.
Driver Afzaal Bin Alam, his brother Asaad and the two other passengers, Naqib Mohamammed and Elias Ali, all from Coventry, all claimed Bin Alam had gently braked his Mitsubishi car in heavy traffic at a roundabout on Mother’s Day in 2014 – blaming the van driver, who hit them from behind, for the crash.
But van driver Terrence Blackwell, also from Coventry, told the court the car swerved in front of him on the roundabout and braked violently, making a collision unavoidable – despite there being no other traffic on the roundabout at the time.
His Honour Judge Gregory dismissed the claimants’ version of the accident and the claimants’ subsequent personal injury claims at Coventry County Court.
The court heard that there were significant inconsistencies in the statements provided by the four claimants – including none of them knowing the address of the family member they said they were visiting; the extent of their injuries; the amount of time they had taken off work; and the medical attention they had received.
Insurer Octagon and law firm DWF said the judgement was ‘very significant’ in that all four claimants have been ordered to pay the equivalent costs the innocent driver would have incurred, had their fraudulent claim succeeded.
The £40,000 payout is believed to be one of the largest of its kind made against so called ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters in the UK.
Matthew Lynch, counter fraud litigation manager at DWF, said: “The fact the judge has ordered the driver and all three passengers to pay £10,000 to the innocent driver should send a signal loud and clear to those involved in such scams.
“Law abiding motorists should also take heart in the fact that insurers such as Octagon are taking such a stand against those who are endangering them on the road and costing them off it.”