Although some may see it as a new phenomenon, the concept of making financial recompense for wrong doing actually dates back a long way. At a fundamental level putting right what you have done wrong certainly tallies with the idea that most of us have about justice.
So-called ‘Compensation Lawyers’ are a much derided group in our society at the moment. When we receive unsolicited text messages telling us that we “could be entitled to £3010 compensation for our accident”, without having had an accident it does little to inspire confidence. These kind of companies are not the norm however, and there are many areas in which people are very legitimately seeking compensation, with it forming one of the corner stones of our legal system.
However you choose to travel the roads are without doubt one of the most dangerous places most of us go. This is an arena where the actions of others can have devastating consequences. It is because of this that it is mandatory for those that wish to operate a motor vehicle to take out insurance to cover the cost of damage to property and injury to persons. In the event of an accident it is up to the wronged party to pursue a claim.
With motor vehicle accident claims, as with other kinds of compensation claims the plaintiff, the person seeking the compensation, has to provide proof. Obviously this varies widely according to circumstances, but different types and levels of evidence will be required. Examples of the types of evidence that are needed are police reports and eye witness testimonies.
Another area in which the compensation claim is instrumental in getting justice is where people are injured at work. Sometimes people can be hurt really quite badly whilst in the service of their employer. They can be left unable to earn a living, or having to pay bills for physiotherapy. Without workers being able to seek damages all an employer has to do is to shrug their shoulders and stick up the ‘help wanted’ sign. The cost of being held responsible for injuries sustained in the workplace means that there is a financial justification for improving safety.
Workplace safety is not the only area in which litigation plays an important role in serving the interest of the worker versus capital. If a person is fired from their job, if they are dismissed, it can be terribly damaging. Obviously it is cheaper to fire somebody than to make them redundant and pay them severance. This is a double whammy for the employee, as not only are they without an income they also have a black mark against their name that will stand in their way of them finding an alternative situation.
People may sneer and decry so-called ‘compensation culture’, but the fact is that it is essential for delivering justice. As a society, only wrong doers have any reason to want to curtail the rights of the rest of us. Ethical behaviour must be encouraged by calling malefactors to account.