According to ISME a statutory offence of perjury would be a significant brick in the defensive wall against false or exaggerated personal injury claims. In my view, there are lots of checks and balances in the existing system to weed out any such claims. Section 25 of the Civil Liability & Courts Act 2004 provides that where a person gives, or dishonestly causes to be given, evidence in a personal injuries action that is false or misleading in any material respect and, he or she knows it to be false or misleading, he or she shall be guilty of an offence. Section 26 of the 2004 Act requires the Court to dismiss a personal injuries claim in these circumstances. We see this system working every day. These fraudulent/ exaggerated claims, very much in the minority, are the ones that make the headlines.
What will a Perjury Act achieve over and above this? Nothing, other than create to competing and possibly conflicting Statutes. I’m certainly not optimistic that it will result in lower insurance costs.
Again, the focus is misplaced, intentionally by ISME. The focus is on the tiny minority of fraudulent claims. There is no mention (let alone apology) for the devastation in human terms and fiscal costs caused by their members’ negligence. The bottom line is if there is no negligence there is no claim. According to the 2016 Personal Injuries Assessment Board statistics, the number of employer liability (workplace accident) claims increased by 8.2%. Might there instead be a call for greater powers for the Health Safety Authority and other state agencies who seek to stop the causes of accidents (misnomer for gross carelessness).
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