Accident victims who exercise their right to seek compensation often face claims that they are malingering or over-egging their injuries. However, as a High Court decision showed, judges require firm evidence before finding such serious allegations proved.
The case concerned a young apprentice carpenter who was working on a building site when a piece of masonry fell on his right and dominant hand, fracturing his thumb. The injury gave rise to psychiatric symptoms and complex regional pain syndrome, which severely impacted on his working and personal life.
The construction company that employed him at the time admitted liability for the accident. However, in disputing the value of his claim, it mounted a fierce attack on his credibility. The company presented extensive social media and surveillance evidence in support of its claim that he was malingering.
In roundly dismissing that allegation, however, the Court found that the surveillance footage and social media posts in no way undermined his account of his disabilities. He was awarded total compensation of £217,109, including £42,500 for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity he endured following the accident.