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Compensation culture

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david51058 | 15:19 Fri 04th Feb 2011 | Society & Culture
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Why is it when anyone is a victim of someone making a mistake in everyday life there is always someone who wants to cash in ot it by making some kind of compensation claim? The worst culprits are those who try to claim off the NHS over something like a misdiagnosis. Where do they think the money comes from to pay them out? Other patients care and treatment of course!
The only justification for any compensation being paid is if the 'victim' suffers a loss of earnings and any other expenditure, that is all, nothing else.
Yes it's heartbreaking when anyone loses a loved one through negligence but why then do they want to claim thousands in compensation? It won't bring them back. They must think that everyone has a price and just see it as an easy way to make a fast buck.


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Well, if the person that dies is the breadwinner and he leaves a young family behind, there is a long term financial loss, unless he was insured.
Let's say a single person is told he has a terminal illness and will be dead within a couple of years. He sells his house and has a wild few months travelling the world, or gives all his assets away. Tells his boss to stuff his job where the sun don't shine.
Then he's told it was all a mistake and he never had that illness in the first place.
In the meantime the drugs he took to combat the illness had a negative effect on a vital organ, meaning he has to have either a transplant or lifelong treatment.

Not everything is as black and white as you seem to imply it is.
a close friend of mine has finally been diagnosed with an illness that could see her in a wheelchair by the time shes 35. She has another child on the way who could have the same problem and she is in constant pain. I hope to god she goes for compensation tbh and yet i know that she is unlikely to.

My grandad died following surgical negligence, my nan was advised to sue the NHS. She didnt though as nothing would bring him back and it would take funds from elsewhere.In that instance i agreed with her.
The provision of some sort of financial compensation in cases where there has been a genuine loss through the the misdoings of others is an admirable concept. However, it is very difficult to align a set amount of financial compensation with any particular 'loss', as some people bear hardship more readily than others. The silly amounts of damages reported, particularly from the USA, has given rise to the claims culture whereby people are awarded sums in respect of ridiculous accidents which would have been avoided but for a good dose of common sense, or which are simply part of the risk that comes with being alive. It has not been helped by sympathetic courts which see to kowtow to human rights legislation and allow claims that are patently ridiculous - especially for things like 'hurt feelings'. Don't get me wrong - there is a place for the "breadwinner" argument, but I fear that there is no clear distinction between deserving and undeserving cases, and it serves the self-interest of the claims management industry to press on with as many claims as possible.
i think in some cases it is justified.
Well lets see David

Imagine you're out of work with debts piling up and you fall over a cracked paving stone and break your ankle.

Someone rings you up and says I can get you a few thousand pound for that in court.

What are you going to say?

"Sorry I dont support this current trend to the compensation culture"

It's easy to take the moral high ground if you're finacially secure
My friend sued the NHS. He'd been to casualty twice with severe stomach pains and both times he was sent home with pain killers. Then his ulcer burst. He died twice on the operating table...when he came out he was really weak. He then had to have recontructive surgery. He got 240k....apparently his working life has been shortened.
Any provider of a service to the public should be liable if they are found to be negligent. My company, and most companies, have insurance to cover this - public bodies such as NHS, Police etc don'tseem to (can't??) do that.
I can understand when there is genuine neglect and the victim suffers, but I hate it when folk look at their own acts of stupidity as some sort of lottery win. You know the sort - 'I wasn't looking where I was going and fell over, who can I sue for this?' We all suffer in the long term, both financially and through loss of freedoms thanks to Health and Safety who constantly have to cater to the stupid and make us all abide by their nonsensical rulings.
karenmac said what I would have said.
This culture all started in the USA in the 60s and 70s and it's just been allowed to develop here by the government and media. Many people are now encouraged to claim for incidents they would have dismissed by these 'No win - no fee' firms. They are permitted to advertise on prime time TV so the government and media are obviously happy to have them doing what they do.

Each compensation claim is looked at separately but there are cases where people should be recompensed. It hasn't been unknown for someone to wake after an operation only to find the wrong operation such as an amputation was performed. It's unusual of course but those people surely deserve compensation. I used to be an advocate for people in the mental health system and there are several cases I can think of where people definitely should have claimed compensation for poor treatment. One of those cases hit the national media when an inquest blamed the "lack of care, unprofessionalism and neglect of the staff" for a suicide in hospital. Bs family deserved something. Other people being forced to have electroshock therapy then being told they were wrongly diagnosed is another.
i suppose theres a belief that it will make doctors and nurses all the more cautious, and keen to double check thngs

i know most are obviously dedicated and make sure they are thorough, but having been annoyed a few times by a lackadaisical and seemingly sarcastic and uninterested response by some in the medical profession, i can see how fear of being sued etc may make them change their attitude..

i agree they take the money from the wrong place though...if the doctor is negligent its him you should pay, not the nhs...
David I suggest you tell everyone to get life insurance policies.
The trouble is, joko, the fear of being sued has led to over zealous red tape and form filling and audit - what might used to be a common sense response to a situation now has to be risk assessed.
Trouble with common sense is it relies on the myth that everybody knows the same things and that it' just "common sense".

To me how to wire a plug is just common knowledge and not doing it wrong is just common sense - As is how to change a wheel or jump start a car.

I tend to think that talking about common sense indicates a lack of ability or willingness to appreciate the variety of other peoples backgrounds.
If I am given wrong advice on Answerbank, which leads to lose money can I claim compensation then? If so where would this come from?
No offence intended, jtp, that wasn't what I meant at all, and your examples are sound - what's sensible to one is not evident to someone else, I agree with you entirely.
I don't think it's wrong to ask, the fault lies with those who administer and assess the claim. It's the frivolous claims and the ambulance chasers which are the real culprits. Who EVER allowed solicitors to advertise?
I've every sympathy for whose who have a justified claim but for those who just want to cash in perhaps a penalty should be imposed.
well I don't agree with ambulance chasing but without allowing solicitors to advertise, I would never have found the one who was so helpful when my Mum died and we had trouble with the will...I could look through the ads and find one who specialised in what we needed.

No, you've agreed to the terms of the site when you signed up, which basically says you take any advice at your own risk.
Jake, with respect, I think you're confusing knowledge and experience with just plain common sense.
Certainly all our experiences dictate what we know, but that isn't common sense. That's more the indefinable, obvious reasoning we should be capable of with varying degrees. Knowledge doesn't come into it.

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