The insurance industry has won an "encouraging" victory in the fight against fraudulent claimants, according to a legal expert.

In Heer v Afzal & Zenith Insurance the court dismissed the claimant's efforts to demonstrate that he had suffered personal injury as a result of a low-velocity impact with another car.

The claim was disputed by the defendant's insurers, with the defendant comparing the impact with the claimant's car to a "light touch of the kerb with the wheels".

The claimant relied upon a medical report as proof that he had been injured.

But the trial judge found there was no injury or material damage and that the claimant had successfully misled his doctor, or was able to rely on an injury from an earlier accident. The judge described the claimant as a "fundamentally unconvincing" witness.

Dipak Lad, head of insurance claims fraud at law firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary UK, said: "This is encouraging as claims from low-speed impacts are increasing, despite vehicle manufacturers' efforts to design safer cars."

He added: "It is also a warning that injury claims may not simply be based on claimants' evidence. Experts can also have a useful role."