Injuries in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • British Transport Commission v Gourley
    • House of Lords
    • 08 December 1955

    In an action for personal injuries the damages are always divided into two main parts. First, there is what is referred to as special damage which has to be specially pleaded and proved. This consists of out-of-pocket expenses and loss of earnings incurred down to the date of trial, and is generally capable of substantially exact calculation. Secondly, there is general damage which the law implies and is not specially pleaded.

  • Hughes v Lord Advocate
    • House of Lords
    • 21 February 1963

    No doubt it was not to be expected that the injuries would be as serious as those which the Appellant in fact sustained. But a defender is liable, although the damage may be a good deal greater in extent than was foreseeable. He can only escape liability if the damage can be regarded as differing in kind from what was foreseeable.

  • Anns v Merton London Borough Council
    • House of Lords
    • 12 May 1977

    First one has to ask whether, as between the alleged wrongdoer and the person who has suffered damage there is a sufficient relationship of proximity or neighbourhood such that, in the reasonable contemplation of the former, carelessness on his part may be likely to cause damage to the latter—in which case a prima facie duty of care arises.

  • McLoughlin v O'Brian
    • House of Lords
    • 06 May 1982

    The common law gives no damages for the emotional distress which any normal person experiences when someone he loves is killed or injured. Yet an anxiety neurosis or a reactive depression may be recognisable psychiatric illnesses, with or without psychosomatic symptoms. So, the first hurdle which a plaintiff claiming damages of the kind in question must surmount is to establish that he is suffering, not merely grief, distress or any other normal emotion, but a positive psychiatric illness.

  • Davies v Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries (No. 2)
    • House of Lords
    • 27 April 1942

    In effect the Court, before it interferes with an award of damages, should be satisfied that the Judge has acted upon a wrong principle of law, or has misapprehended the facts, or has for these or other reasons made a wholly erroneous estimate of the damage suffered. It is not enough that there is a balance of opinion or preference. The scale must go down heavily against the figure attacked if the Appellate Court is to interfere, whether on the ground of excess or insufficiency.

  • Wright v British Railways Board
    • House of Lords
    • 23 June 1983

    My Lords, given the inescapably artificial and conventional nature of the assessment of damages for non-economic loss in personal injury actions and of treating such assessment as a debt bearing interest from the date of service of the writ, it is an important function of the Court of Appeal to lay down guide-lines both as to the quantum of damages appropriate to compensate for various types of commonly occurring injuries and as to the rates of "interest" from time to time appropriate to be given in respect of non-economic loss and of the various kinds of economic loss.

    As regards assessment of damages for non-economic loss in personal injury cases, the Court of Appeal creates the guide-lines as to the appropriate conventional figure by increasing or reducing awards of damages made by judges in individual cases for various common kinds of injuries.

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