Compensation – absolving responsibility or 21st century justice?
Last week I told you about a car accident Mr Green and I were involved with back in 2007.
Fortunately the guy who drove into us claimed full responsibility which meant I was able to get full chiropractic treatment, and my car fixed, paid for by insurance.
I was one of the lucky ones.
My friend, on the other hand, was not so lucky.
He was walking through town one night when a car mounted the pavement, hit my friend, then drove off.
My friend spent months afterwards having operations along with extended periods of living with steel cages pinned into his legs.
Until this day that driver has never been caught.
And every now and then, this issue really gets my friend down, because he’s still living with the consequences of that accident.
Shouldn’t that driver take responsibility somehow?
I find the whole issue of compensation a tricky one to reconcile I have to admit.
I think we live in a blame culture and I don’t think it does us any favours.
It means we absolve responsibility and look to drag other people into issues that might just be ours to figure out.
For example, if you trip in the street, should you claim from the council?
Perhaps we should be more aware when we are out and about.
If I cut myself on a tin or frustration packaging, do I try and get compensation from the manufacturer for creating a dangerous product?
Probably not – cuts and scrapes are all part of life and serve as little reminders to be more present and aware.
What about if I buy a takeout coffee, spill it down my lap and burn my legs?
Well, maybe I should be more mindful and in less of a rush, rather than sue the company for giving me hot coffee (which is what I ordered anyway!).
You know where I’m going, right?
I’ve been shocked at the amount of ‘real life’ scenarios our children are protected from in primary schools.
They aren’t allowed to play outside if it’s too icy or wet, they aren’t allowed to climb trees, they have to have plastic hockey sticks and balls and the teachers aren’t allowed to put plasters on them if they hurt themselves because they aren’t meant to have any physical contact with the pupils.
In my day we were chucked outside whatever the weather (AND walked to school in it!), we climbed trees, jumped off walls, splashed in puddles, got black eyes from the hockey sticks, sat on the teacher’s knee and looked forward to hugs – we were little kids away from our Mums and we needed cuddles sometimes…
However, there are times when compensation can help.
If a workplace is sued for negligence, perhaps it prevents other people having to suffer.
If a council is forced to repair potholes, then it can prevent a bad car accident.
On the Tranter Cleere car accident compensation page they say an astonishing 185,000 people are injured annually in road accidents; many of which will have been injured due to no fault of their own.
When you really are not at fault, is it right to claim money to help deal with your injuries?
I think it is.
If I hadn’t have had been able to claim compensation then I would have been without a car (it’s necessary for our ‘off the beaten track’ lifestyle) and I may have suffered permanent damage to my neck and back.
What are your thoughts – are we living in a compensation-crazy society, or is it a positive benefit of 21st century life?