Tort Law: Compensation Culture within the United Kingdom Coursework

Introduction

People have a proper to hunt a authorized answer when their rights have been violated. Moreover, everybody ought to be capable of entry justice. However, this doesn’t imply that the court docket will grant damages for accidents brought on by one’s negligence. Therefore, the ‘compensation culture’ just isn’t exercised within the courts in circumstances of negligence. This paper goals to critically analyse the idea of the ‘compensation culture’ within the UK to be able to discover out whether or not the tradition exists, or is only a delusion. The paper brings out proof of the non-existence of the ‘compensation culture’ and the way the courts within the United Kingdom take care of this idea. There are arguments that the United Kingdom has made compensation and litigation so frequent that they’ve grow to be a customized within the society. The paper exhibits how the fixed fits and compensations may have an effect on a society negatively. Several court docket circumstances primarily based on the ‘compensation culture’ phenomenon within the UK and the way the UK courts have tailored to the ‘compensation culture’ have been employed within the evaluation. The paper concludes that there isn’t a enough historic proof or authorized backing to point out that the ‘compensation culture’ exists within the UK; due to this fact, it may be stated to be a misguided concept in society. The tradition is barely current as a delusion among the many folks, but it surely doesn’t have any authorized influence.

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Main Body

There have been issues about litigation changing into a tradition within the United Kingdom. The compensation tradition implies a society the place folks type all disputes within the courts, even when it’s not needed and cheap to take action. It signifies a nation the place folks search litigation for even probably the most minor disagreements. Some of the leaders have brazenly expressed their issues about this phenomenon. In 2004, Stephen Byers, who was then the Trade and Transport minister, acknowledged that extreme fits and compensation would have tragic impacts on the economic system and the folks’s minds. However, there was a authorities report in 2003 that contradicted this argument by implying that the compensation tradition was not more than a delusion.

Statistics have proven a pointy enhance in claims associated to medical negligence. There has been a rise within the variety of complaints towards docs, pharmacists, and dentists in each non-public and public well being care establishments. The whole quantity of funds the National Health Service (NHS) spends on medical negligence claims have elevated as nicely for the reason that yr 1996. Legal claims towards the Ministry of Defence launched by members of the armed forces have risen since 1987. There have been many causes for the rise within the variety of authorized claims in numerous fields. Road visitors accidents and claims towards employers have additionally elevated. An enhance within the consciousness of non-public rights has pushed folks to struggle for his or her rights via fixed authorized claims. For instance, elevated consciousness of worker rights and freedoms and the introduction of many legal guidelines to make sure the safety of these rights end in elevated claims for violation of those rights.

A compensation tradition could pose an issue as a result of it attracts a whole lot of pointless prices. The compensation charges themselves could also be excessive, and the cost of legal professionals might also be too excessive. The tradition might also restrict the expansion of companies as a result of it could pressure enterprise homeowners and auditors. Despite the troubles that the ‘compensation culture’ within the UK could also be leading to pointless prices, a job power put in place by the federal government in 2004 in contrast the figures of the United Kingdom with different excessive earnings nations, reminiscent of Germany, Australia, Canada, and the United states and located attention-grabbing outcomes. The job power concluded that the UK spent the least on compensations amongst these international locations. The job power, regardless of discovering that the UK had among the many lowest numbers of authorized claims, concluded that the compensation phenomenon was nonetheless a purpose for concern as a result of most individuals had the notion of litigation being a innocent and fast option to get cash. The job power discovered that the media was the primary supply of the unfold of the phenomenon.

The studies from the Compensation Recovery Unit confirmed a decline in claims for private damage. The Compensatory Recovery Unit is a physique the place these sued for compensation should report every time a declare towards them is made for private damage or sickness. The job power articulates that the time period ‘compensation culture’ is a time period that unjustly discourages victims from taking authorized motion. The job power is of the opinion that an individual who suffers wrongful damage has a proper to hunt a authorized answer, though it causes the state to spend extra or leads to a excessive variety of fits being filed. It expresses the priority that the truth that the United Kingdom has fewer actions dropped at court docket may very well be a purpose to fret, quite than rejoice, as a result of such a state of affairs could outcome out of a state of affairs the place victims of wrongful damage stay silent and don’t obtain the compensation they’re rightfully entitled to. It might also be on account of compensation being so low that it might not be truthful and simply to the injured victims. It is necessary to look extra deeply into the state of affairs to be able to conclude that there’s a downside. The unit ought to analyse whether or not the sorts of circumstances introduced earlier than the courts have advantage or not. If the bigger share of the circumstances offered are real, then it implies that it’s not a disaster.

Claims reminiscent of these towards employers lower with time, whereas those who outcome from automotive accidents enhance. This could also be presumed to imply that the employer legal responsibility actions lower on account of modifications within the society and remedy of employees. Such change could also be resulting from folks abandoning the standard strategies of manufacturing and heavy trade. Claims reminiscent of medical negligence could outcome from a greater understanding of damage and legal responsibility. An enhance within the quantity of people that can convey claims has additionally vastly contributed to the rise in litigation. For instance, the idea of fairness got here to treatment the weaknesses of frequent regulation. This implies that fairness elevated the variety of claims that individuals may convey earlier than the court docket as a result of it got here to place the folks on par in lots of points of life. This exhibits that the idea of fairness offered a treatment for the wrongs that the frequent regulation didn’t present a treatment for. The enhance within the variety of legal professionals and their specialization has additionally widened the grounds for fits. It has given legal professionals the possibility to be eager on explicit fields of regulation and be capable of develop within the authorized framework, thereby enabling extra folks to have extra grounds for claims. An enhance in the price of compensation to match the rise of inflation has additionally led to a rise in claims.

In the case of Heil v Rankin, the court docket held that non-pecuniary damages could be elevated to match the inflation. Though this choice didn’t trigger a significant enhance within the quantity paid for pecuniary damages, it nonetheless precipitated a minor enhance within the compensations. The discount of the low cost price for future monetary losses precipitated a rise within the whole quantity of damages that will be rewarded. This discount was primarily based on the choice made in Wells v Wells. In that case, there was additionally a change within the multipliers, because the Ogden tables had been authorised. This precipitated a rise within the quantity of damages rewarded. Legislation was launched to extend the legal responsibility of these towards whom a declare could be introduced, thereby growing the quantity of damages that will be compensated.

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Decisions have been made in numerous courts in an effort to quash the compensation tradition. In the case of Brumder v Motornet, a mechanic failed in an software for damages towards his insurer. Brumder tried to win damages for an damage that occurred in his workshop. He argued that the corporate that owned the machine had an obligation to take care of it, thus he was injured on account of the negligence of the corporate. The court docket held that Brumder had an obligation to take cheap care. He did not carry out his responsibility of defending himself as an organization director underneath the Companies Act, 2006. The case exhibits that even victims of an damage have an obligation to make sure their very own security and such circumstances can not depend on the compensation tradition.

There is an effort to do away with the mentality that individuals can run to the courts any time an damage happens, even when they’re answerable for the damage. The Brumder v Motornet case exhibits that courts don’t assist the compensation tradition; as a substitute, courts consider that one will solely be compensated when there may be precise legal responsibility. The compensation tradition disregards the regulation and causes folks to frown on the considered litigation. Brumder couldn’t be compensated for an damage that emanated from his personal negligence. Instead, he ought to have been conscious of his duties and tasks.

In a distinct state of affairs, a excessive court docket choose denied two girls reduction for his or her claims for whiplash. The choose acknowledged that the compensation tradition was unreasonably expensive and wanted to be managed. The girls had delayed reporting the accidents. They sued the Home Officer for damages after that they had been concerned in a minor crash with the corporate automotive. However, the ladies took lengthy earlier than going to hospital, along with delaying to report the incident. The court docket noticed this as improper and evasive. Consequently, the ladies had been denied claims as a result of the claims had been seen to be too trivial to be granted reduction. Granting reduction to those girls would have been unjust and deceptive, as it might have continued the unfold of the compensation tradition. Moreover, there was no proof exhibiting that they’d have, certainly, suffered severe injury. Additionally, not one of the different passengers suffered damage. The proof the ladies offered appeared unreal and opportunistic, thus the choose warned that he wouldn’t settle for any of the proof they offered.

The courts have proven that they don’t brazenly and willingly settle for the compensation tradition into the justice system. The courts view this tradition as one which undermines the rule of regulation and spreads injustice. Courts have employed efforts to attempt to make folks perceive that damage doesn’t give one an automated proper to compensation. This approach, the courts attempt to change the mentality of compensation and present folks that everybody has a accountability for their very own security. Therefore, folks can’t be compensated in the event that they breach an obligation of cheap care and security to themselves.

Conclusion

The dialogue exhibits that individuals consider that there are situations when an damage creates an instantaneous proper to compensation. People within the UK consider that so long as they’ve suffered damage, then they’ll sue and be granted damages. Developments within the authorized area, a rise in information, the growth of the regulation, a rise in the price of compensation, and the specialization of legal professionals have led to the growth of the thought of a ‘compensation culture’ within the UK. All these components have elevated the grounds on which an individual can take one other earlier than a court docket. This idea has empowered folks and outfitted them with the information that they’ve rights and the means to make sure these rights are protected. In the current state of affairs, the ‘compensation culture’ just isn’t one that’s welcomed by the courts within the UK, as proven within the circumstances that challenged the ‘compensation culture’. Courts have been strict in making certain they don’t encourage the expansion of the ‘compensation culture’.

Bibliography

Books/Articles

Chen A, ‘Culture and Compensation—Unpicking the Intricate Relationship between Reward and Organizational Culture’ (2010) 52 Thunderbird International Business Review 3, 189-202.

Hand J, ‘The Compensation Culture: Cliché or Cause for Concern?’ (2010) 37 Journal of Law and Society 4, 569-591.

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Kaminskaitė-Salters G, ‘Climate Change Litigation in the UK: Its Feasibility and Prospects’ in Faure Michael, and Marjan Peeters (eds), New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law Series (pp. 165-188) (Edward Edgar Publishing 2011)

Lewis R, and Morris A, ‘Tort Law Culture in the United Kingdom: Image and Reality in Personal Injury Compensation’ (2012) 3 Journal of European Tort Law 2, 230-264.

Morris A, ‘’Common Sense Common Safety’: The Compensation Culture Perspective’ (2011) 27 Journal of Professional Negligence 2, 82-96.

Williams Okay, ‘State of Fear: Britain’s ‘Compensation Culture’ Reviewed’ (2005) 3 Legal Studies, 499-514.

Cases

Brumder v Motornet [2013] EWCA Civ 195

Heil v Rankin [2000] 2 WLR 1173

Wells v Wells [2002] EWCA Civ 476. B1/2001/1387

Statutes

Companies Act, 2006

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Others

Aviva, Who Pays for the Compensation Culture? 2004. Web.

The Constitutional Affairs Committee, ‘Compensation Culture: Third Report of Session 2005’ (The House of Commons 2006), Web.

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