Unbelievable Accidents and Crazy Claims - Personal Injury
Many of these crazy claims have been well documented, especially in the USA where such practices began, and where there always seems to be someone trying to sue someone else for something rather strange, often without success.
However, despite these sometimes almost unbelievable compensation cases, the vast majority of accident claims are perfectly legitimate, but not particularly interesting, and are therefore unlikely to receive any coverage from the press.
In 1993, a man who was driving in New Jersey crashed his car into another vehicle after spilling his McDonalds' milkshake on his lap.
The driver of the other car attempted to sue McDonalds, claiming the restaurant should have cautioned against eating whilst driving.
Not surprisingly the case was unsuccessful, though it generated a huge amount of interest from the press.
In 1994, a student from the University of Idaho tried to sue the institution after he fell from his third floor dorm window whilst he was 'mooning' other students.
His claimed that the university had failed to provide a safe environment for students, but the case was unsuccessful and he received nothing but the ridicule of his fellow peers.
With these two cases it's fairly easy to see that the accuser was in the wrong, however not all bizarre claims are so clear cut.
American Carl Cornett was tucking into a bag of salted peanuts when he bit down on something hard.
He spat the object into his hand to discover it was a tooth.
It wasn't his though, or even another human's; it turned out to be the gnasher of an unidentified animal.
The man made a personal injury claim against the company responsible for the peanuts, stating that the creature's fang had led him to becoming physically and mentally ill.
One interesting aspect of injury claims, is that most people would consider them to be a modern phenomenon; an affliction of the 21st century.
But in fact, there is a long history of personal injury compensation as the laws of King Alfred the Great, which go back to the late 9th century, show.
Among his laws were such rulings as: "If anyone knocks out a man's eye, he shall give him 66 shillings, six pence and the third part of a penny as compensation" and "If a dog tears or bites a man, six shillings shall be paid for the first offence.
" Whilst a very small proportion of today's cases seem to be due to the accident victim's lack of common sense, the vast majority of claims are perfectly legitimate, and come about due to serious negligence of an individual or business.
Of course, these rather mundane and normal accident claims don't tend to make the headlines in the papers.