Are you being watched? Video surveillance and brain injury compensation claims
Brain injuries often have long lasting effects and can impact someone’s ability to work and enjoy their leisure time for many years. Consequently, if liability for the accident was the fault of someone else, then compensation payments can be substantial especially if they need to cover loss of future earnings.
‘Such pay-outs by insurers can be in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, and so it should not be surprising that they will turn over every stone to ensure such a claim is bona fide,’ says personal injury lawyer Navdip Gill. ‘It is increasingly common to see the use of video surveillance by insurance companies, even though many symptoms of a brain injury are not always visible. We always explain to our clients that they should be prepared for this, and it should not deter anyone with a legitimate claim.’
Lessons of the Hovis bakery case
One recent case which demonstrates how this technique is used (and which hit the newspaper headlines) was that of a baker who worked for Hovis. The baker was claiming compensation of around £300,000 for a brain injury which he claimed arose as the result of a fall in the factory, and which meant that he could not cook, wash, or dress himself after the accident.
However, the insurers carried out secret filming which showed that the baker was going about his day-to-day life in a totally normal way by running for the bus, carrying shopping, and looking after his children.
The court declared that the baker had been fraudulent, which meant his insurance policy would have been voided, leaving him personally liable to pay the costs of his employer, which was thought to be over £40,000. He could also face contempt of court proceedings, which can result in a heavy fine or jail term.
Of course, symptoms may get better (or worse) over time, and so it is important to keep your solicitor informed so that any claim can be appropriately adjusted.
Not every disability is visible
‘Not every disability is visible’ is an awareness campaign which was started in 2016 to improve access to public toilets for people with Crohn’s disease or colitis, but it has grown to incorporate many illnesses and disabilities and to remind everyone that many health problems are not obvious to the casual observer.
While video surveillance methods, and other digital platforms such as social media, can provide some evidence in personal injury cases, Navdip Gill asks:
“How can you fully establish the impact of the injury if it is neurological coupled with psychiatric or psychological trauma that is not clearly visible?”
Navdip has acted for many clients who have suffered a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. They may suffer a variety of symptoms that can impact on their daily lives, but not all of the symptoms are always visible.
Brain Injured victims are often left with a variety of conditions that can include neurological, vestibular, cognitive, behavioural, and psychological symptoms. These can invariably lead to a change in sense of tastes, smell, visual disturbance, hearing loss/difficulties; tinnitus; headaches, dizziness; vertigo; fatigue; sleep disturbance; intolerance to noise; sensitivity to light; motion intolerance; and alcohol intolerance.
There can also be a change in personality; difficulties with short term memory and problem solving; problems with decision making; a reduced ability to multi-task; lack of motivation; or problems maintaining concentration.
Such changes may reduce the quality of your life and if so you deserve compensation.
Don’t be put off if you have a valid claim for compensation
We always advise our clients is to be open and honest about the details of their accident, their injuries, and their symptoms, as this will provide the best shield against the insurer’s legal team. Remember that the insurers are seeking to keep their outlay to a minimum, and the cost of obtaining expert medical reports in the most complex cases can cost up to £100,000.
Anyone who has suffered a brain injury, may be extremely vulnerable and will need professional and emotional support through the litigation process, which is lengthy and adversarial. With the Geoffrey Leaver legal team on your side, you can be sure that you will receive support along the way, including treatment and rehabilitation if required, and the right compensation.
Before we take on any personal injury case, especially ones for brain injuries, we always explain the possibility that the insurers may instruct an agent to carry out video surveillance to establish the claim is legitimate.
Do not let a few headline-grabbing cases deter you from making a legitimate claim for compensation, especially if this money will be vital in supporting future care needs.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or have suffered a complex injury and would like to discuss your claim please contact Navdip Gill on 01908 689338 or email email@example.com for a free initial consultation.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.