A DETERMINED driver has won a landmark court case after a minor bump with a taxi in Dewsbury.
When physiotherapist Lee Robinson reversed into a taxi at traffic lights, he was sure any impact was slight. He and the taxi driver talked about what had happened and left.
But seven months later, Mr Robinson was stunned to receive a claim for repairs worth £800 and a £2,000 personal injury claim for whiplash.
However, one of Mr Robinson’s jobs as a physio was to assess whiplash cases for insurance firms. “I knew the impact could have been 5mph at most and that can’t give you the severe whiplash the taxi driver was claiming.”
So he challenged the claim at Dewsbury County Court.
Mr Robinson, who is from Wakefield, was in his Vauxhall van when he pulled up at lights in Dewsbury, crossing the traffic line, and reversed back a few inches, accidentally touching the bumper of a Toyota Corolla minicab behind him.
Mr Robinson’s insurance broker, Blue Fin, said the driver, Nazir Hussain from Dewsbury, had all the correct medical documents as well as garage receipts. But after hearing that Mr Hussain had made such claims four times before, the judge threw the case out, leaving the claimant to pay all legal fees reckoned to be around £5,000.
The case comes as concern mounts about scams driving up car insurance. There has been an increase in personal injury cases, mainly involving whiplash. It is thought there could be more than 1,500 such claims every day with many thought to be suspect yet hard to challenge.
Mr Robinson said: “Cases like this are increasing premiums because insurance firms are settling. My case is a landmark which has set a precedent.”