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The compensation culture on society law general essay

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Is the ‘ Compensation Culture’ the disease in society or a cure?


Legislature and judicial law should be deliberated to evaluate and bring together possible reforms for the claim and compensation culture in Britain, as it is expressed to have become a ‘ blame and sue’ society which can influence the area of law extremely.


This essay aims to reflect the impact of the compensation culture on society. The compensation culture labels a society in which it is adequate for anyone who has suffered a personal injury to pursue damages through litigation. I intend to use a socio cultural approach for my research. The socio-cultural approach involves society and culture shape perception. Social customs, beliefs, values, and language play an important role in a person’s identity and reality. This will be the most suitable approach as different discussions, critical analysis, advantages and disadvantages of claiming is going to be discussed. I will state the law revolving around this area. I will briefly survey the types of new claims being made contrasting the claims that would not have been countenanced in the past. Some legal and moral problems arising from this act will be brought into light. I will look at how law has addressed this issue and lastly I will express my own views how to tackle the problem of claim culture.

The questions that I am going to investigate in this piece are as follow. What is the existing law handling the claims and compensation in Britain? Discussing statutes and case law can help to conquer this question. What really establishes a compensation culture? Is this a fresh occurrence or has it always existed? What are supplementary laws to deliberate in regulating the claims and compensation? Laws of different countries can illustrate this very well. Are there any statistics to see the incline in the claims from the past? Does the gathered evidence point towards a problem that can be deliberated? Has the problem evolved due to the leniency in law? Is claiming helping society or is it just easy money? Looking at statistics and comparing the number of claims appearing can analyse this predicament. What should be done to resolve this problem? This question will form the foundation of the conclusion, illustrating on the theoretical matters in relation to law reform by the judiciary and legislature. Are there any alternative methods of regulating services and behaviour than the fear of litigation? To access this issue we need to explore other avenues available other than litigation. Overall this should enable me to conclude whether or not reform of this area is desirable. I can assess any problems governing the law in area. Has claiming gone up compared to cases dealt with in the past?

Literature review

Claims that Britain is in the grip of a ‘ compensation culture’ and, consequently, a litigation crises are asserted with increased frequency. Concerns of this kind can be found in the columns of newspapers, in official reports, political discourse, legislative debate, and judicial decisions. To analyse the issue accurately and assess it, it is vital to know the existing law which forms the back bone of claiming. The existence of claiming for damages comes from Tort law. The idea of tort law is to redress a wrong done to a person, usually by giving them financial damages as compensation.[1]The important factor in tort is negligence. The law involving negligence offers a source of action resulting in harms, or to liberation, in each circumstance intended to guard legal rights, including those of private safety, property.[2]Negligence is a tort which hinges on the presence of an act of breach of the duty of care payable by one person to another. The fundamentals in defining the liability for negligence are:[3]Duty of care must be owed by plaintiffThere should be a certain breach of that dutyThe plaintiff Directly caused the injuryThe plaintiff suffered Harm as a consequence of that breachThe damage was not too remoteThe case that formed the base of the whole claims and compensation idea was Donahue and Stevenson[4]. This case enlightened the idea of neighbour principle which was beautifully explained by lord Atkin as ” You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour”[5]There are other vital sources that highlight idea of tort, claiming damages and establishment of entitlement to access the resources.

One of the most important act that can be discussed here is the Compensation Act 2006. It deliberates the possible liability, claiming the costs if experienced any damage and management and regulation of claims.[6]There are further acts such as The Compensation (Regulated Claims Management Services) Order 2006, The Compensation (Claims Management Services) Regulations 2006 and The Compensation (Claims Management Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 which can be studied to see any amendments or changes in law.[7]

There is sufficient legislature to help to outline a framework to abide by while taking decisions in this field of law. However, a lot of case law is there to look up to while handling such situations. The ruling in Donoghue and Stevenson is also mentioned or used in a lot of later cases which has confirmed the success of the ruling in this case.[8]The success of this area can be an aspect of the increasing number of claims in the country. As there is a lot of evidence to look at while assessing the current form of tort law, it can be helpful to assess the weight of advantages and disadvantages of tort law. This can help to evaluate the existing form of the law and any reforms which can be looked at can be revealed. If we look the benefits of tort law it can be seen that Academics have long acknowledged the status of Tort law and its primary aids. The first is that it delivers efficient risk management motivations, applying a good standard of behaviour and the discouragement of negligence. It provides guideline and procedure to follow while facing such situations. At the same time as the existence of Tort Law is undoubtedly essential, there is amount of matters that stop it working capably and effectively. Fenn et al (2004) shows a number of difficult subjects as, consciousness of the system, prices in claiming, doubt concerning and ambiguity of claims. In relation to the idea, possible honest claims may not be followed because of deficiency of awareness of the system. Fenn et al (2004) pressure the influence of uncertainty because as a consequence individuals may be reluctant to jeopardise the big costs, in the arrangement of legal fees, and great secondary costs. Even if duty of care is established, negligence and causation must be found which may be hard to prove. The issues emphasised above can all stop the efficient process of Tort Law, However, insurance can offer a way out, easing many of these problems. Journal articles bring out interesting factors to consider. There is a lot evidence regarding journal articles about the use of tort law to get compensation for damages. We can see that In Britain, as in numerous other countries, the law of torts is mainly judge-made.[9]For example, most of tort law’s dominant principles, such as those about the duty of care, the standard of the reasonable person, and the ideas of injury and remoteness, are found in the law reports rather than in the statute books.[10]All features associate to the Compensation act in one way or another. When the Bill that became the Compensation Act 2006 (UK) was discussed, it was recommended that provisions demonstrated on the Australian statutes should also be presented into it.[11]However, this unenthusiastic proposal did not come to completion.[12]There are a lot of strategies and guidelines to take action in bringing forward a claim but we cannot ignore some major aspects. A vital issue here is of cost. The NHS is usually thought to be fronting this combination of difficulties to a noticeable extent. In a quite short space of time there have been very intense rises in both the amount of claims for medical negligence and their cost.[13]Decreasing lawsuit expenses invades the government’s current liability reform suggestions which is to be estimated at a time when spending on the NHS and its effectiveness are great on the program of all the main political parties. Insurers advise that there are other areas of concerns in the liability system, for example, the predicted cost of upcoming asbestos -related claims.[14]Additional fact to be noted is case settlements. Settling cases outside court have become quite popular. According to National Health Service Litigation Authority, only three percent of claims reach court.[15]Statistics can also help see money going out as result of claims.[16]Claiming has a huge impact on the NHS too.[17]Looking at the statistics it can easily be concluded that number of claims have gone up over the past years. Some steps should be taken to restore the misuse of the law for selfish reasons and greed. The determination of this paper has been to evaluate the proof regarding the existence of a ‘compensation culture’. it has been convincingly claimed that in the United States, the usual pattern of compensation is out of control, people are no more characteristically inclined to to sue than the citizens in other societies, and that what has counted is the degree to which injury settlements have risen. But there is not much reliable evidence about the number of false or overstated claims or whether they establish a serious problem. The reason for this can be that it is quite hard to prove the falseness of a claim. What has been said is that ‘some insurance business critics depend on subjective evidence of a worsening atmosphere in order to defend price increases.[18]When Lord Levene, the Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, critisises that a ‘deluge’ of claims is ‘preying the economy'[19]we think that this may not be a totally neutral valuation. While concluding the existence and effects of the compensation culture, there are a number of benefits and setbacks regarding the law of tort. In some cases, the amount of injury claims has been made to seem as a yardstick to measure the moral/economic state of the country. The question to ponder upon is that are we less tolerant and more litigious? Regrettably, the accessible statistics do not provide a suitably reliable answer, however on weighing scale it looks as if the British linger to be a state of ‘lumpers’ rather than litigators. There is decent proof that some kinds of accident claims have risen but proof is still needed for the authencity of the claims. In order to get more thorough vision of the issues and lure more definite conclusions over compensation culture, additional research was needed. Also the influence of CFAs and Claims Management companies on suing rates appears to be slight. In relative to the cost of claims, this has increased and is of worry. The cost can mostly be credited to court cases and the development of liability, which has directly enlarged the normal compensation level to sufferers. When assessing the law’s requirements, the possibility and consistency of the proof is critical. Talk of a ‘compensation culture’ helps to sell the newspapers however, we should be careful before we allow it to command the legislative policy-making agenda.

Draft plan

CHAPTER 1IntroductionThis section will familiarise us with existence and importance of compensation culture. CHAPTER 2The current lawThis will look in detail at the relevant case law and tort law in order to demonstrate how the law has developed in the past few years and how it is applicable to situations of claiming for damages these days. CHAPTER 3Proposed reformsThis will look in additional detail at the potential ways forward for the law by looking at different alternatives and choices in order to make law better and easier to apply. CHAPTER 4Critical analysisThis chapter will deliver a detailed critique of the present law, and case of Donoghue v Stevenson in contrast with contradicting or dissenting cases. In addition more recent first order case law will be inspected in order to perceive which way the law can be led. CHAPTER 5ConclusionThis will draw together the outline of the dissertation by associating the reform proposals with the existing law

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