Lead Article – August 2021

Lead Article – August 2021

You Can’t Be Serious!

You will all recall this famous phrase, commonly attributed to John McEnroe. Whilst I would never publicly condone poor sportsmanship, especially in the public arena, I did derive great pleasure from the antics McEnroe displayed when a probably blameless umpire was the subject of his wrath.

Some plaintiffs feel the same. Many have been subjected to quite significant injuries which have had a major life-altering effect for a period of months and possibly years.

Mother Nature and her biological assistants are very clever however. Even serious injuries can heal with little or no adverse effect and a decade or two later, it can be quite difficult to discern any discrepancy in function.

Whilst decades of observation have led me to this belief, it is impossible to convince a plaintiff in the early phases of rehabilitation that such an outcome will eventuate. Understandably, the plaintiff or his/her legal advisor will express incredulity.

Whilst I have great sympathy for the situation, the natural history of many injuries is such that near-normal function can be restored. In fairness to all stakeholders, it is only reasonable that the compensation cart rewards the long-term reality.