Sian Rees, a claims specialist in the Personal Injury department at Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors looks at a case where a claim was dismissed because of dishonesty.
Exaggerated claims are regrettably fairly common, which is one of the reasons why claims relating to personal injuries can take a long time to settle. However, when evidence is given that is found to involve fundamental dishonesty, the courts have the power to strike out the whole of the claim even if a valid claim would have been possible had there been no deceit.
In a recent case, an ex-prisoner who had suffered a fall whilst incarcerated brought a claim against the Ministry of Justice, alleging negligent medical treatment that led to him losing a leg. He argued that his care was so poor that he deserved compensation. However, he claimed that he had sought medical treatment and been listed for surgery during a period when he was in between prison sentences, but no evidence could be found to substantiate this.
His compensation claim was dismissed because the court found that his dishonesty went to the root of the claim. It had substantially affected the way it was presented and was a fundamental part of his allegation of negligence. Had it been relied upon, it would have been one of the reasons for success had he won his claim.
His argument that the dishonesty was comparatively minor and it would be a fundamental injustice to throw out the whole claim on the basis of it was given short shrift.
There have been a number of cases recently in which the courts have taken a similar stance.
Says Sian Rees, a claims specialist in the Personal Injury department “Cases such as this should not deter those who have suffered due to the negligence or actions of others from bringing a claim. We can help you achieve a just settlement in such circumstances.”
Contact Sian Rees, in our Personal Injury department on 01254 70 11 11 or complete our online enquiry form to discuss your concerns with one of our team of expert advisors.