Compensation culture: the global epidemic?

So you’ve heard it all before: personal injury lawyers get blamed for the UK’s compensation culture, but news this week revealed it’s not just limited to home.

Now, let’s not get so wild and out of control as to assume that injury claims fraud is on the decline in the UK. Whether it is or not, the stark truth is that investigations of seemingly dodgy claims have been on the increase – and there are some rather thick would-be scammers out there trying to pull a fast one over the insurance industry despite the fact that technology has advanced so far as to make it incredibly difficult. Case in point is how one Omagh native ended up getting caught by the CCTV cameras located in her local Asda as she first spilled some cooking oil on the floor of the supermarket and then proceeded to purposefully slip on it in order to fabricate a personal injury compensation claim. The foolish woman’s plan failed of course, and now she’s in some rather hot water.

Of course, this is just small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, especially since the woman would have been likely to get somewhere in the realm of only 7,500 pounds for her troubles. In America however – where everything is of course bigger and more garish – there was an accident claim recently made by a resident of New York City for a monumental sum. In fact, the 62 year old man, who claims his middle finger was completely  ‘bitten off’ by a dog whilst riding a New York City bus (the dog presumably riding the bus with the man?), wants the ungodly sum of $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

No, that’s not a clerical error on my part there. That sum is so large that it’s not a trillion, a quintillion, or even a sextillion – it’s a great big bloody decillion. And no, I’m not going to make the obligatory exchange rate joke here either despite the American dollar’s constant deflation.

$2 decillion is, of course, more than a bit of change. It’s the largest ever compensation amount asked for in the history of mankind, regardless of exchange rate, and even if there was even the barest hint of truth in this obviously spurious personal injury claim there’s no way this madman who brought the claim would ever see that kind of cash.  So just keep in mind: we may be a bastion of ‘compensation culture,” but at least we’re not the United States!

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