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Surveillance and Your Claim

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Social networking, an increase in CCTV presence on the street and the ease of mobile phone video recording should be kept in mind by Claimants while they pursue their claim for personal injury compensation.

In Rall v Hume [2001] it was held that video and film recordings were considered to be documents, and that they were therefore subject to the rules of disclosure and inspection. For the Claimant, this means that if a Defendant and their insurers have such footage, the Claimant is entitled to seek specific disclosure and have the opportunity to comment on it, paying particular attention to the time on the record, the lighting conditions and general quality of the footage.

Insurers are becoming increasingly willing to pursue cases of contempt of court and fraud where claimants are seen having made a miraculous recovery after their case has settled. They discover such fraud often through the use of film.

The case of Motor Insurers Bureau v Shikell, Shikell, Glancy and Fennell [2001] shows the Court's clear message of intolerance for Claimants abusing the system. The injured party in this case signed witness statements confirming that he was unable to play competitive football due to the extent of his injuries and was eventually awarded over £1.2 million in compensation. Surveillance was however later produced that saw the injured footballer able to play competitively. He was committed to prison for contempt of court.

Although a warning as to how seriously the Court will take such matters, genuine claims for personal injury are of course important to resolve. Claimants should therefore be minded to keep their Solicitor updated about changes to their symptoms and capability as their case progresses. If a Claimant is concerned that they are being filmed, they should inform their Solicitor immediately so that the matter can be dealt with.

Rollingsons Solicitors advise on all matters of personal injury for both claimants and defendants. If you wish to discuss any issues that concern you arising from this article or your own personal injury case then contact the personal injury lawyers at Rollingsons on 020 7611 4848 or