The Damages Lottery

The Damages Lottery

Paperback

By (author) Patrick Atiyah

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  • Publisher: Hart Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 210mm x 14mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 1 May 1997
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 190136206X
  • ISBN 13: 9781901362060
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 314,071

Product description

A man slips on a dance floor and breaks his leg. He recovers damages. A child has both legs amputated as a result of meningitis and is awarded nothing. The law's justification for awarding damages in the first case is that the man's injury was the fault of someone else, while in the second case damages are denied because nobody was at fault. In this searching critique of the present law and practice relating to damages, Professor Patrick Atiyah shows that this system is in fact a lottery. He contends that the public are paying far too much for an unfair and inefficient insurance system and that reform is long overdue. His conclusion is that actions for damages for injuries should be abolished and replaced with a new no-fault road accident scheme, and actions for other injuries should be dealt with by individual or group insurance policies.

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Author information

Patrick Atiyah was formerly Professor of English Law at the University of Oxford.

Review quote

The case against the law of tort is made with Atiyahs usual scintillating clarity and in an entertainingly vigorous no-holds-barred styleAnyone looking for something to recommend to young people who are wondering whether they would find law interesting should look no further. John W. Davies Tort Law Review September 2002 This book is written in a style that means that no one need fear jargon or boredom. It is a short book and very cheap. I recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in its subject matterOne thing that the general reader may not know and the author cannot explain is his towering status. The fact that he has put his authority behind a radical reform of the systemought to encourage profound thought. Andrew Edis QC Times Higher Education Supplement September 2002 Such readable and stimulating overviews of the social and intellectual effects of tort law are very welcome Tony Weir Cambridge Law Journal February 2003

Table of contents

Part 1: the law of negligence; strict liability; intentional torts; liability for how much?; who pays?; suing and settlements; legal aid and "no win, no fee" cases. Part 2: stretching the concept of fault; stretching the law where the defendant is not solely to blame; stretching the rules of causation; stretching the kinds of injury you can claim damages for. Part 3: stretching the damages which can be awarded; stretching the number of people you can sue; more stretching of the people you can sue - public authorities; has the stretching gone too far?. Part 4: claims for personal injuries; road accidents; industrial accidents. Part 5: the guilty parties do not pay; the public pays; the consequences of recognising that the public pay; the insurance companies; who pays in contractual cases?. Part 6: the law encourages the blame culture; the system is a lottery; the system is inefficient; how have we got into this mess?. Part 7: punishment and deterrence; economic considerations; public accountability. Part 8: a new look at the whole system of civil liability; personal injuries - some dead ends; the way ahead - road accidents; the way ahead - other accidents and injuries.