Jonathan Sumption, ‘Abolishing personal injuries law – a project’

Introduction
It is now exactly twenty years since Patrick Atiyah published The Damages Lottery, one of the most eloquent polemics ever to be directed against a firmly entrenched principle of law. Professor Atiyah was concerned with the law of negligence generally. But his book has generally been treated as an attack on personal injuries law and its practitioners. Most of his arguments and all of his solutions were directed against the concept of fault-based liability for personal injury. He proposed to abolish liability in tort for causing personal injury. In the case of road accidents, then as now by far the largest single source of personal injury claims, the right to sue for negligence would be replaced a system of compulsory, no fault, first-party insurance. In the case of other sources of personal injury, there would be no alternative source of provision. Atiyah proposed to encourage people to buy first-party insurance, but to leave it, in the final analysis, up to them …

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Lord Sumption, ‘Abolishing personal injuries law – a project’ 2018 Professional Negligence 113.

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