Damages for Personal Injury and Death
The purpose of this Report (published in 1984) is to consider whether it is desirable to reform the law of damages for personal injury and death along the lines of the Administration of Justice Act 1982 in the United Kingdom.
Noting that the courts have expressed concern over the ways in which the existing law could work unjustly in the assessment of damages in personal injury cases and claims arising from fatal accidents, the report recommends that an accident victim should be awarded provisional damages where the extent of his disability could not be accurately assessed at the time of trial because the injury has not then finally settled down. The report also recommends that the class of recognised dependants who may claim under the Fatal Accidents Ordinance be extended. In addition, a court, in assessing damages for pain and suffering, should be entitled to take into account any awareness of the injured person that his expectation of life has been reduced. And an award for bereavement should be introduced as a measure of compensation for grief and loss of society and guidance.
While the Commission's recommendations have been influenced by the law of the United Kingdom, they depart from them in a number of significant respects, for example, in recognising the godparent and godchild relationship according to Chinese custom for the purpose of a claim of dependency in a fatal accident case.
The Fatal Accidents Ordinance and the Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) (Amendment) Ordinance implemented the report's proposals in 1986.
|Report (PDF) (MS Word)|