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The damages lottery

The damages lottery

Atiyah, P. S., author

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

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English.
Published Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1997
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Available: Online

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Statement of responsibility: P.S. Atiyah
ISBN: 1472558723, 9781472558725
Note: Includes index
Physical Description: 1 online resource (viii, 201 pages)
Other Number: 10.5040/9781472558725
Subject: Damages Great Britain.; Compensation (Law) Great Britain.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014. Available via World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement
Other formats: Also issued in print


  1. 1. Suing for Damages
  2. 2. How the Law has been Stretched
  3. 3. More Stretching of the Law
  4. 4. Who Receives Damages?
  5. 5. Who Pays?
  6. 6. An Unjust and Inefficient System
  7. 7. Does the System have Non-Compensatory Benefits?
  8. 8. What Can we do About It?