Shaukat v an Insurer

Together we are Forbes


30 September, 2020

Chris Booth
Partner and Head of Insurance

The Claimant claimed that he was involved in a road traffic accident after 11 pm when he and his two passengers decided to go to McDonald's. On entering the McDonald's carpark, it was alleged that a van driven by an employee of the insured was driven into collision with the claimant's vehicle Causing injury to all three occupants.

Detailed investigations revealed numerous concerning features. It was established that one of the Claimant's passengers was known to the defendant driver, the second passenger was the director of an accident management company and a hire car company and the brother of the Claimant driver had an extensive list of criminal convictions including those for terrorist offences.

Moreover, a detailed analysis and cross-referencing of the evidence of the three third-party occupants and cross referencing the two statements given by the Claimant driver both pre-and post-litigation, revealed stark inconsistencies and suggested that the accident had not occurred as alleged or potentially at all.

The defendant driver refused all cooperation, but the Claimant's claim was repudiated nonetheless. At trial, the judge found all three claimant witnesses to be wholly unreliable. Whilst acknowledging that both vehicles displayed damage and accepting that there was the potential that an accident had occurred, the trial judge concluded that, such were the inconsistencies, he could not establish what had happened and therefore found that the Claimant had not overcome his burden of proof. In addition, he found that the Claimant had not proven his injuries and found that there were grave causation concerns and therefore dismissed the case in its entirety. Notwithstanding these findings and the grave concerns demonstrated, the trial judge however stopped short of finding that the accident had been contrived and did not find the claim to be fundamentally dishonest.

Forbes comment

Whilst disappointing that the judge declined to find the case fundamentally dishonest, the defendant's position, and the concerns unearthed, have clearly been vindicated. This case once again highlights the value of painstaking cross referencing and analysis of evidence disclosed from a variety of sources.

For more information contact Chris Booth in our Insurance department via email or phone on 0161 918 0002. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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