Accident victims who exercise their right to seek compensation often face claims that they are malingering or over-exaggerating their injuries. However, as a High Court decision showed, judges require firm evidence before finding such serious allegations proved.
In this case, a young apprentice carpenter was working on a building site when a piece of masonry fell on his right and dominant hand. As a result, he fractured his thumb. The injury gave rise to psychiatric symptoms and complex regional pain syndrome. Subsequently, these severely impacted on his working and personal life.
The construction company that employed him at the time admitted liability for the accident. However, in disputing the value of his claim, it mounted a fierce attack on his credibility. The company presented extensive social media and surveillance evidence in support of its claim that he was malingering.
In roundly dismissing that allegation, however, the Court found that the surveillance footage and social media posts in no way undermined his account of his disabilities. He was awarded total compensation of £217,109. This total included £42,500 for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity he endured following the accident.
Dino Skinner, Healys Managing Partner specialising in Personal Injury and Accident Law commented:
“While sadly there will always be people who exaggerate their injuries, this should not deter anyone who is genuinely injured from seeking the compensation they deserve.”