There’s a lot of unscrupulous drivers out there – but where do you stand?
I was riding my Triumph in a suburban environment in a town in the North West. I overtook a people carrier with one person in it so I was then in between a battered looking old Mercedes C class and this people carrier. Then the Mercedes just suddenly and violently stopped. I hit the back of the Mercedes which only had the driver in it. The Mercedes’ brake lights did not come on and I am certain of that. The people carrier was not involved at all and the driver did not even get out.
My insurance company is refusing to pay me my fully comprehensive claim as it says the claim is fraudulent (theirs, not mine) and they will not pay out until they are satisfied that I was not involved in a scam. They have had a claim brought to their attention by the MPV driver and four of his invisible passengers, all of whom suffered whiplash injuries and seat belt bruising when they came to an emergency stop to avoid my motorcycle. The Mercedes driver also managed to sprout two passengers and 12 weeks hire of a brand new C class Mercedes. I have also lost my no claims bonus. What the hell do I do to get out of this mess?
I was surprised, but not shocked, to hear that a bike had been targeted by these crash scammers. Occasionally riders get caught up in these crash scams, but to deliberately target a biker is really disgusting. You are a vulnerable road user and this scam could result in you being put in a wheelchair or a box.
Your insurer cannot get out of paying you for your contractual right to be paid. Their unreasonable suspicion that your were involved is completely unfounded. This is especially so as you have told both the Police and their investigator that one person was in both vehicles and the MPV was not involved at all.
A stiff letter to the complaints people at your insurers should end in a result of you having a payment, and if this does not work then a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsmen Service (FOS) will be necessary. Make sure that you tell your insurers that if they do not pay out your money you will go to the FOS.
I would also be asking for six per cent interest on the time that they should have paid your money out on your bike (about three weeks after the accident) until now. However, your no claims bonus is something that your insurers will not have to reinstate until the fraud claim is dismissed.
Unfortunately, the name of the accident management company involved with the drivers is one which raises suspicions. However at the conclusion of the case when it is dismissed by the Court or abandoned, any additional monies you paid as a result of loss of your no claims bonus will be reimbursed by your insurers. Your insurers are particularly hot on fraudulent claims, and your hometown is known for them. While there is no excuse for not paying out your repair bill/write off value of your bike, your no claims discount will not be sorted out for some time. You could possibly be paying additional premiums for the next three years.
If you were injured, I would bring your own claim if I were you. You have a high burden of proof to show that these drivers were fraudulent, but if your insurers come on side they have access to a number of databases which will show if these drivers have been involved in a number of other cases. They should be helping you and it is in their interests to help you, rather than alienating you.
Fast Bikes Magazine – You’ve been framed?, Summer 2011
Andrew Dalton has been writing articles for Fast Bikes Magazine for a considerable period and have condensed what we believe are the most useful articles to you. White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors deal with personal injury claims and our sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deal with any road traffic offences.