Evolve Legal was pleased to hear about the successful prosecution of a company found guilty of the insidious practice of claim farming. Special Counsel Anna Morgan brings to light in a recent article exactly what claim farming is and the detrimental impact it has on people who have suffered from a personal injury.
BACKGROUND – WHAT IS CLAIM FARMING?
Claim Farming occurs when companies or people sell the personal details of injured people to unscrupulous law firms. Personal information such as key details about their accident is often exchanged for thousands of dollars without the injured person’s permission. This practice was originally banned in Queensland for motor vehicle accident claims. For obvious reasons, claim farming is highly illegal in Queensland. In October last year, the ban was further extended to Queensland work injury claims, public liability claims, and also historical childhood sexual abuse claims.
The lure of making substantial profits from selling personal contact details of accident victims led to ongoing harassment and often misleading communications with injured people. Claim Farmers utilise a variety of tactics to trick their victims. Some Queenslanders had to endure spam calls from strangers or companies telling them they are calling about their “recent accident” and trying to induce them to bring a claim. Other business models operated on crash repair organisations selling details to law firms. Some people were wrongly misled by claim farmers to believe that they were the insurance company contacting them to arrange rehabilitation funding for their injuries. As a result, the Queensland Government has taken a strong stance on this behaviour to protect Queenslanders from such harassment and breach of their privacy. There are now serious consequences for both the organisations that sell personal details and the law firms that pay money for the referral.
On 7 February 2023, Magistrate Saggers, fined Accident Management Solutions Pty Ltd $1 million for 94 claim framing offences in the first prosecution of claim farming offences. From this unethical behaviour, the fines imposed by Magistrate Saggers are aimed at deterring other organisations from engaging in such practices and ensuring that the personal injury industry remains fair and transparent.
Such prosecutions send a strong message to the industry that unethical and illegal activities will not be tolerated and will be punished accordingly. The hope is that the financial cost of such activities will outweigh the potential benefits, discouraging organisations from engaging in claim farming.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE AN UNSOLICITED CALIM FARMING CALL
If you do get an unsolicited call about a personal injury accident where you are encouraged to lodge a personal injury claim, then the Motor Accident Insurance Commission recommends that you hang up and report it. You can easily report the claim farming attempt online here: https://maic.qld.gov.au/scheme-knowledge-centre/report/.
EVOLVE LEGAL – HOW WE CAN ASSIST YOU
You should always strive to protect your private information and seek out your own legal advice by someone you chose and trust. Claim farmers do not have your best interests in mind – you are merely an opportunity for them to make some quick money from your injury. Don’t let them line their pockets with your trauma.
If you want to have been injured contact us today for an obligations free consultation to discuss your eligibility for compensation.