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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Topic Date User
Werribee Gorge Accident 9-May-2006 At 10:28:57 PM kerroxapithecus
I think there's been a similar discussion before. There seems to be a lot of confusion in the community about the difference between negligence and accidents. Negligence has little to do with accidents. No damages can be awarded unless it is shown that

1. there was a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff
2. the duty was breached
3. there is damage
4. causation - the breached caused the damage
5. the damage (of the kind being claimed for) was reasonably foreeable

There are tests within those 5 elements.

There is a big difference between falling and spraining an ankle because you were not watching where you were going and falling because of the negligence of a land owner, employer or service provider. In many cases the negligence is shown to be so gross and the damage so unecessary had someone been doing the right thing that the defendant (or their insurance) must pay. It's not about accidents and greedy litigants. If it is the injured man or his family suing it may be because they literally can't afford not only the medical bills but the around-the-clock care that is often required for injuries like brain or spinal injuries. Fulltime nurses cost a lot of money and medical insurance doesn't cover much of that. The issue is that in such cases the nursing is required for the remainder of the persons life. The injured is also entitled to damages for loss of income. eg. if they were a bright university student with a promising career ahead they would be awarded money for loss of income based on what they would have earned. However the amount would only be partial I'm sure. Then there's costs such as modifications to the injured person's residence, vehicle.....whatever else. What about emotional pain and suffering, the inability to have children, a great potential life wasted because some company or authority didn't do the bleeding obvious? If the injured person is seen to have had some influence in causing the accident the damages are reduced for contributory negligence. Most cases take a long time in court and are very fair.

I don't think there would be many people who would not seek compensation in such a case because the outcome of not doing so would be impossible in many cases. Families wouldn't be in a position to provide the care required. The public seem to be under the impression that these cases involve minor injuries. They also seem to be under the impression that the defendants are innocent victims. This is not so and I don't know what it takes to convince people of the truth. Get the cases and read the facts and judgments rather than the newspaper headlines like 'boy awarded $1m for cut pinkie'.

If you want someone to blame for ruining climbing opportunities because of litigation the blame might more appropriately be placed on those who negligently cause injuries. Just today I was in a dance school that is a negligence claim waiting to happen...lack of fire safety, cracked floor tiles in bathroom, nails sticking out of bench chairs. You can't take money from the public or claim to provide a service raking in money without accounting for your duty of care towards your patrons. In a notoriuos US case of a factory fire where almost all employees were killed the fire escape doors were locked and they couldn't get out. They had been locked to prevent the employees from taking ciggy breaks in the stair well.

In the case described here it seems that it is irrelevant that he was a climber as pointed out already and the walking track appears to have been a designated walking track. If the authority in question wants to call something a walking track they have to provide the safety precautions especially in areas where it may be narrow or a serious fall could happen. Walking on walking tracks shouldn't be a risky activity.

Also true that we dont' know the facts of this case. I'm just pointing out what I've read about in the cases I've read and it's very different to what you hear in the media.

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