case of Graham Loveday and his wife who have been convicted of contempt of court following his personal injury claim." />

Contempt Of Court Following Personal Injury Claim

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Mr Loveday suffered injuries in a road traffic accident and pursued a claim for compensation. He and his wife gave evidence in witness statements which exaggerated the effects of the injuries considerably. They claimed that he was unable to drive and often relied on a wheelchair.

It is common practice for Insurance companies to instruct enquiry agents to follow Claimants and see whether they are really as disabled as they claim to be. If the surveillance evidence shows that they are in fact exaggerating their symptoms then the insurance company will disclose the video footage to the Claimant's solicitors. If it does not, then the Claimant will never know that they have been subject to this practice, which many see as an intrusion into their privacy and are understandably upset by it.

The practice is however not illegal and the Court will allow the insurance company to use that evidence to defend the claim.

I have never come across a situation where the insurance company invited contempt of court proceedings, or where the Claimant has been imprisoned as a result. This has to be a stark warning to all those who are contemplating exaggerating their injuries to increase their compensation. As solicitors we have to be aware of those Claimants who might be prone to exaggeration, but where we believe that our client is attempting to bring a false or fraudulent claim then we cannot act for them.

Julia Prior

Senior Solicitor - Personal Injury Team.

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