Insurance law firm, Horwich Farrelly, working with insurer Aviva, have successfully secured a guilty conviction for a wealthy software engineer who claimed he was injured in a minor motor collision at a toll booth pay station. The case saw the claimant, Mr Randive, who was working as a contractor for a large multi-national bank at the time, ordered to pay costs of more than £48,000 for submitting the dishonest claim.
Mr Randive, who has a Master's Degree in Computer Application and has worked for a number of high-profile city firms was involved in a minor motor collision in August 2013 when a car rolled forward into his vehicle whilst waiting in a queue to pay at the Dartford Tunnel. Following the incident, he submitted a claim for whiplash injuries to the neck and back, stating that his back injury was an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. His claim included a sum of £7,200 for loss of earnings, £2,080 for personal training sessions, £725 for physiotherapy costs and £200 for travel expenses.
Aviva initially became suspicious of the claim and engaged Horwich Farrelly to investigate further. They found that Mr Randive’s medical reports told a very different story to the one he claimed. His GP records proved that he was not working at the time of the incident; rather than needing to take time off work as a result of the accident, he was in fact already off work due to a previous back injury. He also changed his account on several occasions regarding how long he took off work – from between no time off to four weeks. The claim for loss of earnings was, therefore, invalid. Furthermore, Mr Randive’s medical records showed he was working out in the gym during his supposed injury period, and when he visited his GP shortly after the accident he did not mention the incident.
Following cross-examination at trial, Mr Randive discontinued his initial claim. However, Horwich Farrelly applied to the court for a finding that the claim had been fundamentally dishonest to which the Judge agreed. At this stage, Mr Randive was ordered to pay the defence costs of over £8,200.
Not content that the claim had failed and costs had been awarded, Aviva asked Horwich Farrelly to investigate further action owing to the lies told by Randive within his claim and on oath. This led to a lengthy 3 year process in which Aviva accused Randive of being in contempt of court. On the day of the trial, Randive pleaded guilty to the charge and was subsequently ordered to pay a further £40,000 in costs.
Rob Lee, Aviva’s Head of Casualty Claims, said, “This case shows that even those who are well off can be tempted to make a fraudulent whiplash claim. Mr Randive thought he could make some easy cash but he’s ended up being hit hard in the pocket.
“We hope this case will act as a deterrent and stop other opportunist fraudsters from claiming compensation when they haven’t been injured. Innocent motorists pay for fraud through their premiums, so we will continue to fight against it, defend our customers and get convictions.”