The small claims court is an effective way to claim money from an individual or a company that you consider has tried to wrong you. The maximum sum that you can claim is £10,000; you can make the claim online; and it isn’t necessary to use a lawyer, although it may help to use one if you aren’t sure about the procedure.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a go at insurance companies, but sometimes they make it so easy it’s impossible not to comply. Their adverts might try to make you think they are there in your hour of need, indeed the prime minister thinks they are, but don’t be fooled by the smiling nodding dog, insurers will do their best not to pay up when you need it most.
Hands up, who has already broken their new year’s resolution? Apparently about 75 per cent of us will fail after just nine days, which makes them hardly worth bothering with (unless, say, your resolution was to decorate the living room by 8 January 2013). Mine are suitably unoriginal, but since I recommit to them at least once a month they don’t really count as new year’s resolutions.
People are not always entirely rational. Of course we’re not. We have a right brain as well as a left brain, or at least most of us do, and for some of us the emotional part seems to dominate quite a lot of the time. Nonetheless, sometimes our actions appear to make little sense whichever part of the brain is in charge.
Anyone watching the excellent BBC Four series The Strange Case of the Lawcan’t fail to have noticed the irony inherent in his premise that the English common law system can be traced back to the simple compensation culture of early Anglo-Saxon Kent. If anything should dispel the myth that we are slipping, or indeed have slipped, into an alarming spiral of moral decline brought about by an American-style propensity to sue for anything and everything, this should be it.
I doubt there was much of ‘that lovin’ feeling’ at the Law Society on Valentine’s Day. Despite all its efforts to woo the prime minister and his henchmen from the Ministry of Justice, it was defiantly excluded from the much-publicised whiplash love-in at Downing Street on Tuesday. Only very special chosen ones, all insurers, were invited to gaze misty eyed at ministers as they played footsie under the table and pledged to join together to make their world a lovelier place.
Sometimes things happen that really make you stop and think. Often it happens when normal people are just going about their normal business and then something extraordinary happens to them. Sadly it’s not normally anything good. But it’s striking because it could happen to anyone, it could happen to you or someone you know. And you can’t even begin to think what it would be like if it did.