ITS RAINNIN' SIDEWAYS
this from my local newspaper
Unsuspecting motorists are being targeted in what is believed to be an elaborate insurance scam.
Drivers are facing claims of thousands of pounds for whiplash injuries following accidents which allegedly were "engineered".
The major fraud alert has been sparked by revelations, which follow a Keighley News story a fortnight ago, that several identical incidents have occurred at the same spot in Crossflatts.
Now a dossier of evidence is being presented to insurance companies and a police investigation could follow.
Keighley News inquiries have shown that such incidents are also occurring in other parts of the county and further afield. Bradford South police are currently investigating two complaints about suspicious road accidents in their area.
The KN reported last month on how a 21-year-old motorist was driving along the stretch of road between the Magnet roundabout, at Crossflatts, and the roundabout at the start of the Bingley relief road, when a vehicle pulled out in front of him from a roadside parking area.
The vehicle twice inexplicably stopped and the second time there was contact between the two cars. There was no damage to the vehicles and no injuries to anyone.
But now -- several months after the incident -- the young motorist has received a claim for damages from the other driver and a passenger for alleged whiplash injuries. His father is convinced the accident was deliberately engineered and vows the claim will be contested.
And following an appeal for other people with similar experiences to come forward, he has received letters from six motorists.
He said: "All have been involved in the same type of situation at that location and have subsequently received injury claims against them.
"My own inquiries suggested it may not have been the first time this had happened and these letters support that.
"I am sending copies of all the correspondence to my insurance company, and with the knowledge they have, others will be able to take it up with their own insurers. I'm grateful to everyone who contacted me and I would still like to hear from anybody else who has had such an experience."
He asks anyone involved in a similar incident to write to him -- including as much detail as possible about the accident -- to PO Box 351, Keighley BD20 5WY.
Denise Raven, for the AA in Yorkshire, said making a fraudulent insurance claim was a criminal offence and police action could be taken against suspected offenders.
She said: "There is always going to be someone unscrupulous enough to try to obtain money by making a false claim, and it is a matter which is taken extremely seriously by insurance companies. If you suspect fraud you should pass on all the information you have to your own insurer, who can then call in the police.
"If you are involved in an accident and have any suspicions try to get as much information as you can from the other party, and do not assume they won't make a claim. Ideally, try to find an independent witness who can corroborate what happened and if you have access to a camera take photos."
Det Chief Insp Terry Long, of Keighley police, said that if information was presented to them suggesting a pattern of fraudulent claims, the matter would be looked at.