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The phantom claimant

10 June 2014

Recent months have seen quite an influx in new deafness claims. No reason for this has yet been identified but issues have been experienced with over-zealous claimant solicitors.

On one occasion a claimant quickly retracted his claim once he became aware that his employers would need to carry out a liability investigation.

On another occasion involving the same employer and a letter of claim having been received, insurers, the client, and ourselves, committed quite a bit of time and expense into carrying out liability investigations and collating documentation in order to defend the claim.

As part of the clients risk management system the claimant was approached direct. The client asked, since the claimant had indicated a hearing loss, what more they could be doing for him to preserve his hearing. The claimant was alarmed. He had apparently made a claim enquiry but that is all. He had not filled in any forms or instructed anyone to pursue a claim for him.

Insurers contacted the claimants solicitors who could not produce any authority or documentation signed by their ‘client’ and the claim was withdrawn.

Hopefully this does not indicate the start of a trend back to the bad old days, but practitioners and insurers should be alive to this issue.

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