Judge: Martin Spencer J
Citation:  EWHC 1288 (QB)
County Court judges should approach whiplash claims with a degree of caution, if not suspicion. Where Claimants have lied or been so inconsistent as to be unreliable, the Court should be reluctant to accept the claim as genuine. Dismissal of the claim or a s.57 CJCA finding should be considered.
The Court has held that County Court Judges have to approach whiplash claims with a degree of caution, if not suspicion. The problem with fraudulent and exaggerated whiplash claims is well recognised. Where a Claimant has been demonstrably untruthful or where their account is so hopelessly inconsistent that their evidence could not be regarded as reliable, the Court should be reluctant to accept the claim as genuine. In the particular case, the Claimant’s evidence was found to be demonstrably inconsistent, unreliable and untruthful. He had lied about the number of accidents in which he had previously been involved. It was difficult to see how the Judge at first instance could have accepted the medical evidence or any other part of his evidence. There were fundamental inconsistencies between his evidence at trial and what he had said in the Claim Notification Form. The Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest. The claim should have been dismissed, either pursuant to Section 57(2) of the Courts Act 2015 or because the Claimant had failed to prove his case.