We are fast becoming a nation that resorts to suing corporations, public bodies etc at the drop of the hat. This has resulted in a mass of health and safety regulations and rules that are designed to protect public bodies from being sued. Bodies have become over cautious to the point of being ridiculous – e.g. the teacher who saw a child climbing a tree on school property, who went into the school and closed the door for fear of frightening the child into falling from the tree, whilst a passer by came and helped the child out of the tree and was warned for his reckless behaviour!
These rules and regulations defy common sense and add millions if not billions to our overheads. If we introduce a cap on the amount of compensation payment people can recieve for minor injuries or injustices to £1,000, it might deter people from suing with the aim of making a fast buck. This would allow public bodies and government departments to cut through the swathes of ridiculous rules and let common sense prevail.
There would have to be a proper definition of minor injuries and injustices, but it should not involve people being compensated for inconvenience. That is part of life and we should live with it. In capping compensation, we should also introduce more stringent rules about when a no win no fee agreement can be entered into – that should reduce the number of 'have you had an accident at work?' adverts too, which would be an added bonus!
Why is this idea important?
The rules that have been introduced to protect public bodies from being sued are in fact stifling ordinary people and preventing them from being treated as sensible adults with common sense. We spend millions on this, only to provide ammunition for solicitors and barristers to sue companies and public bodies where they have not foreseen every possible eventuality and imposed rules to offset the risks.
Businesses cannot afford the overheads associated with writing, implementing and policing these regulations. Adults do not want to be treated as if they have no common sense. Public bodies and companies often impose policies that leave them open to ridicule. If we cap compensation payments it may discourage people from thinking sue first whenever anything happens. That will reduce litigation costs, reduce the number of cases being taken to court, with the reduction in associated costs, and stop companies from having to bear the cost of defending such actions.
I am not advocating capping all payments – companies that are negligent do need to be held accountable, but for pities sake, lets apply some common sense too.