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Removing the compensation culture

Comment 2nd July 2010

The balance of power in compensation cases needs to be shifted, to make it harder to prove negligence, and to increase personal responsibility for one's own actions. If you trip on a paving slab, or slip on ice, this should not result in a negligence case against a local authority/business. If a child gets hit in the eye with a conker, or falls out of a tree, again this is part and parcel of life and of children playing. However, if a business fails to declare a building site a hard hat area, so is deliberately negligent, this should remain prosecutable.

Why does this matter?

At a stroke, this would

1) Reduce the "blame others for my own action" type culture- people would be forced to take more personal responsibility for their own actions.

2) Remove the "Health and safety gone mad" type instances where children are, for example, banned from playing conkers or throwing snowballs. After all, I cannot imagine the injury from throwing a snowball being worse than the injury from being stabbed in the eye with a pencil or biro – are we going to see writing implements banned next?

3) Reduce insurance premiums for all businessess, especially local authorities and public bodies. This would mean that, in this age of austerity, there would be more money available to spend on the public services we want and value, rather than paying insurance companies to pay ambulance chasing lawyers.

4) I would be less inclined to throw things at the TV when the "Where there's a blame, there's a claim" type adverts on! 

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