Industry news roundup: week ended 18 Aug 2014:
Claimants who win personal injury compensation claims are often accused of being a waste of money, but this week the news tops that by a long country mile.
Now normally I’m the first person out there to say that people who make accident claims often need the cash to take care of things such as lost wages or medical costs. This is still true; however there are all too many instances where it seems like a total waste of money to pay off a claimant, and this week was filled with news stories that made me just shake my head in impotent rage.
First up was one miserable story about how Norfolk Police spent nearly £400,000 over the last year in compensation payouts, not just to members of the public but its own staff members as well. A new Freedom of Information request discovered that Norfolk Police paid the cash out over only 48 claims, and the only other police force that paid out more was London’s Metropolitan Police.
Now is it just me or does this seem like a supreme waste of money to you? Wouldn’t those £400,000 be much better spent on things such as better infrastructure and more well-funded emergency services? The Taxpayers’ Alliance agrees with me, for what it’s worth: a spokesman said that there’s either far too many spurious claims going on or that the police force in general is just terribly careless when it comes to preventing accidental injury. I’m more than willing to entertain the thought that there’s some coppers out there playing fast and loose with safety rules. The only thing worse about this is that it’s all taxpayer cash that’s being sucked away by these poor decisions!
And speaking of poor decisions, get a load of this story: an 18 year old who was injured in a legitimate personal injury claim decided to turn around and use some of his cash award to purchase drugs. Not just a little bit, either – the man had 900 tablets of diazepam on his person when he was apprehended by the police. The dullard claimed that he ‘didn’t know’ what the drugs were but he had been told that they were legal. This one is definitely going into the record books, if you ask me!