In their on-going fight against insurance fraud, LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) worked with HF solicitors to bring to justice Lois Cartridge, an insurance account handler, who exaggerated the severity of her whiplash claim after a minor car accident resulting in a suspended prison sentence for Cartridge along with total costs of over £20,000.
Lois Cartridge claimed to have suffered whiplash injuries when she was a back seat passenger involved in a car accident in November 2018.
At the time, one of the other passengers reported that no-one in the vehicle was injured, but Cartridge later claimed she had suffered injuries to her neck, shoulders and back.
She claimed that her injuries prevented her from engaging in her usual sporting and leisure activities including swimming, walking, and training in the gym. She also claimed difficulties with cleaning, cooking, DIY, dressing, driving, ironing, self-care, shopping, and vacuuming.
However, specialist investigators at HF found social media posts of Cartridge participating in water sports, snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, horse riding, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, and participating in a 5k inflatable assault course – which she did on the same day as her medical examination when she still claimed to be suffering from her injuries!
Through HF, LV= GI raised their concerns with the claim, but got no response and the claim was eventually struck out with costs awarded in LV= GI’s favour in the sum of £8,244.96.
LV= GI then decided to take further legal action against Cartridge, accusing her of being in contempt of court for giving a false account to her medical expert, knowing that a medical report would be prepared based upon that false information. She pleaded guilty to several grounds and was given a custodial sentence of 16 weeks, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of over £20,000.
Matt Crabtree, Head of fraud strategy at LV= General Insurance comments, “We’re pleased with this great result and whilst we appreciate a number of people are having to navigate some very challenging economic times at the moment, this should be a timely reminder to those who are tempted to pursue a fraudulent claim for financial gain that they face some very tough punishments. As an industry we work together and continue to tackle fraud, and our work with HF demonstrates that we will take action where there is wrong doing. The contrast from what the claimant told the medical expert to how she was living her life to the full is shocking and I hope this sends a message that this kind of activity is unacceptable.”
Alex Wilkinson, Partner at HF said: “Combatting insurance fraud doesn’t stop with defeating a claim. Miss Cartridge’s claim was defeated back in November 2020. Bringing our own claim against Miss Cartridge sends a strong message to others not to do what she did. Taking action in the way we have will send a message to those thinking of defrauding insurers or other compensators and drive down the number of dishonest claims made. At HF we have a firm focus on combatting not only fraud but fraudsters themselves.”