Merseyside law expert warns of rise in fraudulent PI cold callers

Merseysiders are being warned to be on their guard for unscrupulous cold callers trying to coerce them into making fraudulent personal injury claims.

James Barker, a personal injury specialist from leading law firm Kirwans, which has an offices in Liverpool, Wirral and Southport, said he has evidence of local people being targeted by companies trying to generate compensation claims, particularly in relation to car accidents.
His warnings support government findings which claim that between 2006/7 – 2013/14, there were around 775,000 motor personal injury claims registered to the DWP Compensation Recovery Unit – an increase of around 50%. These figures are all the more surprising given that there was a 23% decrease in the number of road traffic accidents reported to the police over the same period.
James said:
“Despite numerous measures having been taken by the industry, both anecdotal and hard evidence show that individuals are still being coerced into making fraudulent claims with the promise of thousands of pounds in damage if they simply state that they have been hurt.
“Not only is this practice illegal, with serious consequences for the person making the claim, it also adds a significant cost to people’s car insurance each year. In addition, it tarnishes the reputation of the personal injury sector which, despite facing regular criticism, plays an important role in seeing justice done for those who have genuinely been injured as a result of other people’s negligent actions whether that is out on the road, at their place of work or when out and about.”
In addition to aggressive tactics being employed, the number of calls being made by claims management companies is also on the rise, with recent research from Aviva insurance revealing that 600 million personal injury-related nuisance calls were made last year, and a further 117 million texts.
The sheer volume of unsolicited calls is a particular concern for James, who says that sales calls can provoke stress and worry in recipients, particularly amongst older people.
James is now advising those being targeted by cold callers to register with the Telephone Preference Service to reduce the number of marketing calls made to your phone, and you can also make a complaint firstly to the company itself and the to the Ministry of Justice if necessary.
He said:
“This unscrupulous behaviour can not go unchallenged. If you or someone you know have been treated improperly by a claims management company, a complaint should be made to the Ministry of Justice. Otherwise, this aggressive behaviour which borders on harassment will continue, driving up people’s insurance bills and causing unnecessary stress to vulnerable people in the process.”

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