Mental Health Malingering and the Fraudulent Motor Insurance Claimant

Ashley Cartwright, Jason Roach, Harry Wood, Peter Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malingering is the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated symptoms in order to obtain an advantage. Although it has been estimated that over 800,000 claims for personal injury in Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) were filed in the UK in 2012, no approximation exists for how many involved malingering. This study attempts to understand what influences a psychiatrist to conclude that a claimant’s symptoms are not caused by an RTA and thus suggests the claimant is malingering. This article describes a study of Personality Assessment Inventory scores alongside collateral forms of evidence for 100 RTA claimants; all individuals seeking compensation for damages to their mental health. The results suggest that up to 40% of these claims could be categorised as not being the result of the RTA. Significant differences emerged between those claimants diagnosed as having a mental disorder as a result of the RTA and those claimants who were classified as not having a mental disorder as a result of the RTA in regards to: employment status, level of injuries and scores on the paranoia scales of the PAI. The study emphasises how the assessment process is idiosyncratic and in need of further research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalOpen Access Journal of Forensic Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


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