Modern people, sportsmen/women excepted, are most at risk of serious injury when travelling on the road. The energy bundled in a motor car, or other vehicle, is considerable. If that energy is suddenly blocked, which is what happens in a typical car accident, it must go somewhere and, unfortunately, it sometimes goes into us. Then you are injured and the nature and extent of that injury is determined by chance.
Make no mistake; as a society, we have planned these accidents. Otherwise we would prohibit such forms of travel. Instead, we build lots of roads and we promote the use and sale of motor cars.
In this sense, it is a misnomer, to call these events “accidents”.
Take a circus, or theatre, knife-thrower. If the knife thrower “accidentally” throws the knife and stabs his (typically) lovely assistant in the heart, we expect that the police will arrest him and that he will be convicted of a crime. We reject the idea that this is an accident. His implied position, that his only fault lies in that last unintended lapse in his wrist, is rejected.
We know that he arranged everything and we are reasonable in considering that, perhaps, or even probably, he had no lapse whatever in his wrist and intended the injury/death.
It is, among other things, this knowledge of a social responsibility for road traffic accidents that we see expressed in the fact of a Government “4th Road Safety Strategy” or that the EU is holding a “Road Transport Safety Conference on Serious Injuries” in Dublin.
It is a fact, and we should know it, that, as a society, we can suffer mental aberration on these matters. (“Mental aberration” is a polite term for madness).
I do not just mean politicians’ proposals for Irish farmers to be permitted to drink and drive.
I mean it is a form of mental illness, hypocrisy certainly, to plan for injuries to happen and to claim, in the Constitution, that the State will vindicate the person (meaning bodily integrity) of citizens (and others) and then to establish a statutory body (the Injuries Board, a.k.a., the Personal Injuries Assessment Board) (and maintain it) that seeks to ensure the lowest possible level of success in delivering compensation to those injured persons, and to go further; to shrink the window of opportunity for the injured person to effectively make a claim for that compensation to the inadequate time of two years.
In fact, to term all of this “madness” is politeness.
We should remember that we were not always as “mad” as we currently are. We have a “legal system” that includes a cohort of persons intent on overcoming the State’s lunacy.When it comes to car accidents solicitors (and barristers) are those working for the common good. The persons who intentionally hobbled them in doing what they try to do, namely, vindicate the bodily integrity of road accident and other personal injury victims, cannot be categorised as mad. They are simply working against the common good.