The Oban Times - - NEWS - Ge­orge Berry

IS THE cul­ture we live in chang­ing the way we work, the way we think?

Nowa­days, the word ‘lit­i­ga­tion’ is very much a part of ev­ery­day life.

Lit­i­ga­tion is ‘ the process of bring­ing on or con­test­ing a law­suit’ for those de­ter­mined to profit at the cost of an em­ployer, neigh­bour or some­one they do not know. It is sim­ply, in many cases, what is known as ‘the blame game’.

We are con­stantly bom­barded by the me­dia with ad­verts of­fer­ing le­gal ser­vices to make claims for in­ci­dents, of­ten on a no-win, no-fee ba­sis.

To pro­fes­sional scammers, ‘ac­ci­dents’ are of­ten staged, es­pe­cially road ac­ci­dents. If you watch cer­tain tele­vi­sion pro­grammes, you will wit­ness teams of this type of per­son move ve­hi­cles into po­si­tions on mo­tor­ways in or­der to recre­ate ac­ci­dents. This is caus­ing more fraud­u­lent claims than ever be­fore, while also af­fect­ing our ve­hi­cle in­sur­ance.

Or, to make it even eas­ier, the mop­ping of a shop floor can be­come the ideal op­por­tu­nity for some­one who wants to make a few quid to stage the per­fect ac­ci­dent: down he or she goes on a damp floor, and the word ‘claim’ is the first thing they think of.

At one time in days gone by, when some­thing went wrong in life – be it at work or in leisure time – peo­ple made ev­ery ef­fort to sort the prob­lem out, usu­ally with an am­i­ca­ble agree­ment, which suited both par­ties. Nowa­days in­jury lawyers are laugh­ing the whole way to the bank.

Are we a na­tion adopt­ing the Amer­i­can way of life, a coun­try which seems to thrive on law­suits? I make no apol­ogy for that com­ment as the of­fi­cial claim fig­ures in Amer­ica run into count­less mil­lions of dol­lars ev­ery year.

So my mes­sage is very sim­ple: as you go about ev­ery­day life, take care be­cause there will al­ways be some­body out there will­ing to ben­e­fit from your mis­for­tune.

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