bits of law

Main Section

Tort | Negligence

Damages: Assessment

Flash Card | Degree

Download Adobe PDF Icon

Damages: Assessment

[Flash Card 1 of 5]

  • damages: principle compensation / restore C position would have been in if D's negligence not occurred

Pecuniary expenses

  • pecuniary expenses: losses capable calculation in money terms / pre-trial & post-trial / any reasonable loss

Pre-trial loss of earnings

  • special damages: precise figure pre-trial loss of earnings / overtime or regular benefits included
  • pre-trial loss of earning is net earnings (after tax & NI) (British Transport Commission v Gourley [1956])
  • pension deductions / normally at source /deducted from gross earnings (Dews v National Coal Board [1987])

Future loss of earnings

  • general damages: not capable precise calculation / awarded: if unable to work again or if earning potential reduced / lump sum at trial
  • multiplicand: C's net annual loss: gross annual loss up to trial / modified by any potential increase / tax NI & pension deducted
  • multiplier: period of future loss: working life expectancy (retirement age) / conversion: 2.5% in Ogden tables (actuarial) / avoid overcompensation
  • multiplicand X multiplier = future loss of earnings
bits of law

Damages: Assessment

[Flash Card 2 of 5]

Pecuniary expenses

Future loss of earnings

Lost years
  • if C's life expectancy shortened / future loss of earnings are adjusted
  • 1yr life expectancy / CoA: 1yr multiplier / HoL: unjust / prior expect work until 65 (14yrs) / value to P: satisfy legitimate desires / can recover for lost yrs (Pickett v British Rail [1980])
  • subject to deduction / amount C would have spent on himself: 25% (married with dependent children) / 33%(no dependants) / % may alter on facts
  • 2 stage calculation: multiplicand X multiplier (proportion yrs C will survive) + multiplicand (deduct spent on himself) X multiplier (remaining proportion: lost years) = future loss of earnings
Loss of earnings calculations
  • deductions: tax / NI / pension / employer obligatory payments / tax rebates due to no full salary / living expenses during hospital stay (Administration of Justice Act 1982 S5) / redundancy
  • not deducted: employer ex-gratia payments (if not D) / state pension / insurance monies
Loss of earnings of children
  • family circumstances (Connolly v Camden & Islington HA [1981]) / entrepreneurial genes (Cassel v Riverside HA [1992])
  • national average wage (Croke v Wiseman [1982)
bits of law

Damages: Assessment

[Flash Card 3 of 5]

Pecuniary expenses

Medical expenses

  • including: adaptations / aids / travel expenses / pre-trial: easily totalled / special damages / post-trial: annual cost of treatment (multiplicand) X yrs treatment required (multiplier) / general damages
  • C may opt for private healthcare / S2(4) Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948 (Poh Choo v Camden & Islington HA [1979])

Third party losses

  • if C incapacitated / may need carer or housekeeper / C can recover value of services provided by third party
  • C hospitalised France / family travel expenses reasonable (Schneider v Eisovitch [1960])
  • if services provided by D / cannot be recovered / contrary public policy (Hunt v Severs [1994]) / criticised: no obligation C to pay third party
  • C's loss: need for items or care / valued at proper & reasonable cost of supply (Donnelly v Joyce [1973])
  • value loss of earnings / relative gives up work / actual loss of earnings / ceiling commercial rate (Housecroft v Burnett [1986])

Loss of earning capacity

  • if court satisfied: C risk of losing job / can award (Smith v Manchester (1974))
  • head of damage cannot be awarded if loss of future earnings is awarded
bits of law

Damages: Assessment

[Flash Card 4 of 5]

Non-pecuniary expenses

  • cannot be mathematically calculated / compensate personal injury as unable to restore C / no quantum: based on facts & case law

Pain & suffering

  • past present & future: pain / physical & mental anguish (fear of treatment / anguish of life expectancy shortened)
  • subjective test / no claim if C unconscious (Wise v Kaye [1962])

Loss of amenity

  • broad head of damage / compensate loss enjoyment of life (senses / marriage prospects & hobbies) / degree of deprivation / lifestyle prior to incident
  • objective test / can claim if unconscious (West v Shephard [1964])

Interest on damages

  • Senior Courts Act 1981 S35A: interest paid / PI & death damages / exceed £200 / unless special reasons
  • principle: interest not compensation / awarded for being kept out money ought to been paid / non-pecuniary from service proceedings to trial / discourage delay (Jefford v Gee [1970])
  • special damages interest: half investment rate / accident to trial (Cookson v Knowles [1979])
  • non-pecuniary: interest 2% (Wright v British Railways [1983])
bits of law

Damages: Assessment

[Flash Card 5 of 5]

Provisional damages

  • lump sum: over or under compensation / provisional damages avoid risk
  • Senior Courts Act 1981 S32A / order: if C's condition may seriously deteriorate or serious disease may develop as result of tort / awarded: if trial damages on basis disease or deterioration not occur / C returns to court for further award as specific occurs
  • time limit may be set (Hurditch v Sheffield HA [1989])
  • clear & severable risk / continuing deterioration insufficient (Willson v MOD [1991])
  • pleural plaques / causation not present / C must establish cause of action (Johnston v NEI; Grieves v FT Everard [2007])

Periodical payments

  • paid regular fixed intervals / based C's current circumstances
  • advantages: more flexible / avoids C's risk / court assessment more accurate
  • disadvantages: huge administrative costs / Ds & insurers uncertain about liability
bits of law
This site is best viewed with style sheets (CSS) enabled and an up-to-date browser.