Lead Article – December 2021

Lead Article – December 2021

Beware the Recidivist Claimant

Very few of us will ever lodge a civil claim for personal injury in our lifetime.

A small proportion of us will have one claim and possibly two, although that would be unusual.

Unsurprisingly though, there is a very tiny subset of our population that lodges claims quite frequently. This latter subgroup appears to be extremely unlucky! Some of them have been involved in six or seven rear-end collisions, many have twisted an ankle or two on repeated occasions and most of them seem very skilled at relaying the types of symptoms that purportedly add credence to their claim.

Dr Google obviously has some part in it. Patients seem to have read the details concerning related symptomatology, have a fairly good grasp on the natural history, and are even aware of the types of investigations that are more believable than those that are not.

Bias is an undesirable characteristic in an independent medical expert. However, it is unavoidable. When I see these plaintiffs with a myriad of antecedent civil claims for personal injury, I am immediately suspicious.

I know, I should feel ashamed. Oh well, I’ll mull it over.