UK Doctor Survey Highlights Problem of Fraudulent Whiplash Claims for Insurance

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20th September 2012 15:38 - Health

Market Research by YouGov on behalf of car insurer AXA, which aims to understand the UK culture of Personal Injury (PI) claims to reduce the pay-outs causing car insurance premiums to skyrocket, have discovered a concern over whiplash claims.

The survey questioned 100 doctors in the UK and found that these healthcare professionals are under increasing pressure to take advantage of the current £2bn PI pay-out - 7% have even been offered money to refer patients with whiplash injuries.

Over the last month alone, an overwhelming 88% of the doctors polled said they thought the Government should introduce new measures to control whiplash claims made by motorists.

In total, 22% of the respondents said they had seen a substantial increase in whiplash patients over the last five years, while 40% reported a moderate increase during this period. Furthermore, in the past year 11% have seen significant rises in whiplash cases while 31% had experienced moderate increases. 

The doctors also said that they believe 37% of patients on average who come to them with whiplash resulting from a car accident are fraudulent, while a third believe this figure to be over 50%.

In addition, the majority of doctors at 58% said they had signed off only 50% or less cases as being a genuine whiplash injury.

The issue is made more difficult by the fact that whiplash is notoriously hard to accurately pinpoint – only 7% of doctors believe it is very easy to correctly diagnose.

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