Mercenary ‘victim’ uses parking lot theatrics, without a doubt in the hope to make financial gains. Be careful, when driving a car in a parking lot. Ensure no one can accuse you of having hit a pedestrian. Perhaps that is too much to hope for, but protect yourself. Use a dashcam and make sure it is running all the time.
Government, law, jurisprudence and justice go together. We hope that the first three lead to and result in objective justice, but nothing is perfect. Objective justice can at best be nothing more than the most objective justice obtainable under the circumstances. Under the worst circumstances it may be nothing more than outright tyrannical, absurd, capricious and unjust. Objective justice does not necessarily possess all of those and more attributes but at least one or more.
There seems to be no clear gradation of the extent of objectivity of justice. That is throughout the range of forms of governments from tyranny to democracy. At the democratic end of the range, the outcomes of cases where justice is sought vary greatly with time and location. That is true even for cases with equal extents of severity of specific crimes or transgressions.
The range of crimes brought to trial does not include all crimes. Many crimes go undetected. In many crimes no perpetrator is ever suspected, found, indicted and brought to trial. On the other hand, a good number of criminal trials involve cases where no crime took place. Still, a perpetrator got fingered and brought to trial in those cases without a crime.
That can happen for a variety of reasons. The most obvious one can be that an accuser is looking for financial gain, compensation for injuries that he claims he suffered but did not. Whether such a claim will succeed depends on the quality of the evidence that is presented to support the claim. It depends on what level of credibility is demanded by the court in which the claim is heard and will be judged. The outcome of any claim, false or not, depends even on whether the accused or accuser shows up at trial.
An accused party may not show up at his trial, without having given a good reason in advance of his absence. If so, that virtually assures that a judgment against the accused will be handed down. Conversely, if an accusing party does not show up for a trial in which the accusation is to be judged, it is virtually certain that the accusation will be dismissed. Nevertheless, there can be other reasons for a dismissal of charges, before a scheduled trial begins.
In the beginning of the 1960s I worked in Korea. A lot of things were different there from what I had experienced. I do remember people warning me about a specific principle of Korean law. It was that, if one felt obliged to help to save someone from committing suicide, one could and most likely would be held legally responsible for the welfare of the individual he had saved. If one were to drive a car, it would often happen that people would lay down on the pavement, waiting for a car to hit them, but, even more importantly, in the hope that a driver of a car would stop to inquire what was wrong, thereby to assume legal responsibility for the individual laying on the pavement.
That seemed crazy to me, out of this world. Little did I know that the same mercenary ‘victim’ approach would routinely come to be seen as an opportunity for unjust enrichment in Canada. The peculiarities, vagaries and demands of Canadian jurisprudence prevent me from providing exact details of what happened in the following example.
Parking lot theatrics for monetary gain through exploitation of government services
In the summer of 2018, a friend of mine made a left-hand turn into a lane between two rows of parked cars. That happened in the parking lot of a grocery store. She was driving at the speed of about one or two miles per hour. An individual on foot passed her on the passenger side of her car. The ‘victim-to-be’ flopped herself down in front of my friend’s car. My friend stopped her car, without having her car touch the ‘victim’.
The ‘victim’ on the pavement began to scream, “Is my head bleeding? Is my head bleeding?” My friend got out of her car. She looked at what the
‘victim’ on the pavement was doing. She saw that nothing was wrong with her, sat down in the car and waited for what would happen next.
Some friends of the drama queen on the pavement showed up and called the police and emergency services. The police and an ambulance came, to check what the ‘accident’ was all about. My friend handed over her driver’s licence and insurance card for examination by the police. She received them back, along with a ticket for a traffic violation involving the making of an unsafe left turn. The ticket gave an option to pay the fine or to show up at a specified court date and location.
My friend showed up on the specified court date, pleaded “not guilty” and received a date for a court hearing. She went to court on that new date but had by then not yet received copies of the police’s accident report and related documentation. (That was even though she had called the appropriate authorities and reminded them to make certain to send the required documents).
We waited for her case to come up and heard the judge pronounce a good number of judgments before my friend’s turn came. In about six or seven of the roughly 30 cases presented, the accused made no appearance, either in person or through a lawyer. Deadlines for paying the fines were set, with pronouncements of the severity of jail sentences if no payment would be made by the deadline.
Upon being asked, my friend told the judge that she was ready for her case. The prosecutor said he was not. He had not received any of the information he had requested from the police. He had been unable to determine the reasons for that. On account of that he asked that the case against my friend be dismissed. The judge ruled accordingly, that the case was dismissed, telling my friend that she was free to go but would be welcome to remain and watch the rest of the proceedings. We did that, until the court adjourned for a discussion and for lunch. We left for home, much relieved.
Was justice served?
My concern now is, although the law was without a doubt administered correctly, whether in my friend’s case justice was served.
After the court hearing, my friend called a number of people involved or interested in the aftermath of the court hearing: the neighbour who had offered to drive her and her car home after the ‘accident’ that wasn’t, the insurance company’s accident investigator, and others whose interest in the case better remains undisclosed, because there is still a civil court claim in the works for an amount of damages and compensation that is unknown to my friend.
My impressions of those remaining aspects of the case are purely hearsay and don’t have the hope of a snowball in hell to be admissible (let alone stand up) in court. They are these:
- The police feel that the ‘victim’ staged the accident;
- Witnesses think the ‘victim’ staged the accident;
- The emergency response team found no evidence of any injuries received by the ‘victim’;
- The hospital to where the ‘victim’ was taken for a more thorough examination found no evidence of any injuries received, but
- The ‘victim’ lawyered-up and is pursuing a claim for compensation, of which a portion will likely be paid.
Without a doubt, everything is being done according to the letter of the law, but there is no doubt that the gaming of Canadian jurisprudence for financial gain is a very real, profitable concern. That does justice a disservice. Not only that, but thousands of dollars worth of time and services by a large number of individuals and agencies have been, are being and will still be spent by many in catering to the consequences of a claim of self-inflicted ‘injuries’ that are in the range from at most extremely slight and undetectable to non-existent and imaginary.
This is my assessment of the final outcome to be expected in this case:
The cost of the consequences of the allegations into which my friend and many other parties had been unsuspectingly dragged will run into many thousands of dollars. The undeserving ‘victim’ will skim off from that as much as she can. She is quite likely to be able to do that. The money is there for such cases. All it takes is an allegation and the gumption to stick to them. We all have to pay, through higher insurance contributions, increased taxes and lost time.
Will my expectations be met? The next two years or so will tell whether they are on the mark. It seems that the only thing open to question is how much more the cost of this case will amount to before it is over. I will provide updates as new information becomes available.
- Irrational problem solving or rationality, the difference is?
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