Solicitor who suffered whiplash saw first hand the problems of the MedCo referral system

A personal injury lawyer who suffered a whiplash injury has slammed the MedCo system for fostering inaccurate claimant reports, and leaving claimants open to charges of fraud.

Shelyna Mariscal, a partner at Norwich law firm Hansells with more than 20 years experience representing personal injury claimants, said her MedCo report was riddled with errors.

“It is inevitable, given my experience, that claimants find themselves facing allegations of dishonesty and fraud based on the information provided in the MedCo reports,” she said.

Writing a blog for the Motor Accident Solicitors Society, Mariscal said her ten minute MedCo appointment was double-booked, and in the end only lasted five minutes. Beforehand she was given a questionnaire asking detailed questions about her injuries, expenses, and a full medical history.

“In fact, all the information you would expect to receive in a MedCo report,” she said.

“Having to supply such details immediately, without notice, was not conducive to accuracy or completeness.”

And when she eventually saw the expert, her examination lasted less than five minutes and was only “cursory”, she said.

Mariscal described the whole experience as “unsatisfactory”. And any faith she might have retained in the system was blown away when she received her MedCo report.

“The report was so flawed it did not even contain my correct age,” she said.

“A previous accident which I estimated at being eight years ago was given an exact date and a head injury I had sustained from impact with the car door was referred to as a ‘psychological’ injury.”

The report also said her consulation had lasted 15 minutes, which was curious as all the appointments had been scheduled at ten minute intervals.

Mariscal said the process is clearly aimed at processing claimants as quickly as possible, which she said is incompatible with producing accurate and meaningful reports.

“This process is blatantly not working either for the claimant or their solicitor,” she said.

She urged fellow solicitors to refer to MedCo all reports that clients claim are inaccurate.

“Without high-lighting these issues, the government will continue to announce the success of MedCo,” Mariscal said.