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OFF BEAT: Cash-for-crash whiplash crime wave sweeps Britain


In the latest cash-for-crash crime wave sweeping Britain, organized crooks seeking insurance payouts are ramming cars into buses filled with “stooges,” according to news reports from across the pond.

Detectives are investigating one scam involving 36 fake passengers, or stooges, claiming whiplash injuries after an Audi TT crashed into the side of a bus.

The incident isn’t isolated.

Five similar crashes in northwest England—all believed linked to an organized crime ring—accounted for £1 million ($1.6 million) in illegal claims, causing police to launch a lengthy investigation.

Such cases have put Britain in the spotlight for being Europe’s whiplash capital, with a 70% increase in personal injury claims due to auto accidents over the past six years.

Britain reportedly has fewer crashes than other European countries, but more whiplash claims, reportedly causing one observer to quip that his countrymen either have weaker necks or there is more fraud occurring in the nation.

To help address the problem, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke held a “whiplash summit,” and introduced new measures including one requiring injury claimants to undergo thorough exams by specially trained doctors.

In addition, attorneys will be banned from offering “no-win-no-fee deals.” Reports say whiplash claims won by no-win-no-fee lawyers add about £90 ($146) in costs to the average British insurance policy.

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