Who pays the (unborn) ferryman?

So, Mr. DumbAndSelfish has just been on vacation and lost, presumed stolen, a substantial amount of cash. Now everyone knows that carrying large quantities of cash around is pretty dumb, and especially when going on holiday where you’re staying at hotels with lots of unfamiliar people are coming and going and crooks deliberately target people looking for the one idiot stupid enough to take cash or valuables with them.

Now, having returned from this rather costly sojourn, Mr. DumbAndSelfish concerned contacted the police to report the loss. Naturally, the police can’t do anything (even if the could be bothered to try) but it’s essential to get that all-important crime report number so that Mr. DumbAndSelfish can now claim from his insurance company for the loss caused by his stupidity. After all, that’s what insurance companies are for isn’t it?

This kind of selfish thinking goes much further though. You may have heard the news recently of a ruling by a Canadian court that an unborn baby can sue it’s own mother for injuries that occurred as a result of a car accident. It was already legal to sue the Father in such cases, but now this insanity has been extended to cover mothers.
The details of this case are fairly simple. The lady in question was on her way to church (I wonder if there’s a message in there somewhere) when she skidded on black ice and ended up being thrown through the window of the car. She was pregnant at the time and a few months later gave birth to a little girl, who turned out to be blind and tragically brain-damaged.

The whole affair is a tragic one and certainly anyone who hears it is undoubtedly moved. The question is – whose fault is it?

Black-ice is a phenomenon of nature. By definition unpredictable and decidedly dangerous. Anyone who has ever had any experience of harsh weather conditions knows the dangers of such things and is unquestionably cautious when such phenomena are possible.

There is no indication that this lady was driving dangerously, nor was anyone else involved it was just a tragic accident by all accounts. The problem is that now the child needs constant care and medication – so who pays for this?

In that bizarre way of thinking that Mr. DumbAndSelfish knows so well, the woman’s husband has taken her to court to sue for damages. Not because he believes she is at fault. Not because he is a vindictive person who wants to crush his wife – they are in fact still married. No the sole reason behind this is to get money out of the insurance companies. That’s what they’re there for after all.

Now there have been a lot of responses to this particular story, ranging from incredulity to “so what”. The general comment seems to be “hey these insurance companies are loaded, so they should get screwed for everything you can get.” And “hey, the insurance pays, no one gets hurt by it”.

The problem with this way of thinking is that it’s based at its very heart in a fallacy. You see, the insurance companies may have a lot of money, but they also have every intention of hanging on to it. When claims are made against them, the money they pay out is the money that they directly charge me, you and Mr. DumbAndSelfish. If enough claims are made for particular cases, then all that happens is that they put up the costs of insurance to everyone.

In fact the insurance company isn’t hurt by these claims at all. They just pass on this extra cost to the rest of us and carry on laughing all the way to the bank.

People need to take responsibility for their actions. Sometimes accidents just happen, no one’s at fault, no one’s to blame. That’s why we call them ‘accidents’. The end result of all of this is ever increasing payments for everyone for insurance in all its forms.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m no fan of insurance companies. In fact they’re generally pretty loathsome as a group. But when Mr.DumbAndSelfish decides he has a right to compensation because of his stupidity or just because something unfortunate happens, then it’s me that ends up paying. Me, you and everyone else.

If you don’t want to keep paying increasingly more for other people’s stupidity then do something about it. Every time you see one of these stupid laws enacted, contact your local politician. Contact your government representatives. Contact your local press.

Contact them and tell them that you disagree and don’t want to pay more to take care of someone else’s mistakes.

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