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Law Commission to Review Damages for Personal Injury


The Scottish Law Commission recently announced that its Tenth Programme of Law Reform will include a project on damages for personal injury

The project will look at the Administration of Justice Act 1982, Part II, which deals with (a) awards of damages in relation to services; (b) deduction from damages of specified benefits; and (c) awards of provisional damages.

The Commission says it intends to review each of these issues to take account of contemporary circumstances, and in particular:

  • Awards of damages for services are currently restricted to ‘relatives’. The Commission thinks that consideration needs to be given to whether the current definition of ‘relative’ remains appropriate and whether that general restriction should continue to apply.
  • The law in Scotland and in England differs on the items deductible from damages. This has generated uncertainty in some areas, such as the deductibility of private health insurance and residential care costs, the quantum of which may be very substantial.
  • How provisional damages operate in cases where the full extent of a person’s injury emerges only after a substantial period of latency. This is important in order to make sure that that claims are brought without undue delay but, at the same time, that pursuers are not under-compensated owing to the need to raise proceedings before the full circumstances of their injury can properly be appreciated.

In addition, the review will look at whether arrangements need to be put in place to protect awards of damages made to children; there have been instances where parents or guardians have sought to exploit a child’s misfortune for financial gain, says the Commission.

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.


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