03 August, 2016
Wigan County Court - District Judge Gordon
25 May 2016
At a small claims hearing, the claimant's claim for vehicle damage following an alleged collision with a pothole was dismissed in full. The Judge found that whilst the defect was actionable and dangerous at the time of the claimant's accident, the defendant's section 58 defence was robust and stood up to proof.
During the hearing, the defendant contended that the claimant had relied upon a bogus invoice for towing facilities allegedly provided following the accident. The invoice was provided by a company owned by the claimant's father. The claimant's father, on giving evidence, confirmed that no money was paid to a towing company as a family friend had actually towed the claimant's vehicle as a 'favour'.
It also materialised that the labour costs claimed by the claimant related to the time spent by his father when returning to the accident locus the following day to take photographs. The Judge described the reliance on the fictitious documentation as 'alarming' and confirmed that the claimant's credibility had been severely affected.
It is important to be vigilant and when suspicions are raised steps must be taken to verify the authenticity of invoices. At Forbes we have a dedicated Anti Fraud team who can advise on the appropriate action to be taken when fraudulent activity is detected.