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Should Honest Mistakes Require Compensation?


One of the many traits we all share is our proclivity to make mistakes from time to time (albeit some more than others).  Jim rear-ends the car in front of him while tuning his truck’s radio.  Dr. Jackson botches a surgery because his mind is preoccupied with an impending divorce.  Most negligence cases in the legal world are borne of simple, honest mistakes—a momentary lapse in judgment or dexterity.  Those who are victims of honest mistakes may have some reluctance to seek compensation for their injuries.  After all, to err is human.  However, any reluctance to seek compensation should be put aside for one simple reason: the very existence of liability insurance is premised on honest mistakes.  In the examples above, Dr. Jackson has professional liability insurance to cover those instances where he causes a patient harm due to inadvertent negligence.  Similarly, Jim has auto liability insurance to cover any situation where a momentary driving mistake hurts another driver.  Indeed, generally speaking, liability insurance only covers “honest mistakes”—as such policies exclude coverage for intentional acts of the policyholder.  In these cases, the injured plaintiff is not recovering from Dr. Jackson  or Jim directly, but is instead being compensated by their insurance carriers.  And that is the very reason Dr. Jackson and Jim purchased the insurance coverage in the first place.  Therefore, an injury victim should not have any feelings of guilt about recovering damages that result from negligence.  And this is especially true given that the purpose of compensation is not to acquire some monetary windfall, but to simply make the injury victim whole again to the greatest extent possible.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligence, call Carroll Law Firm today for a free consultation.  We will quickly determine the insurance available to compensate you for your injuries.

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