Q&As

Are there any reported cases in which an already severely disabled child has been awarded damages for injuries suffered in a subsequent accident where the court has considered how general damages should be assessed/valued?

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Published on LexisPSL on 21/06/2017

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are there any reported cases in which an already severely disabled child has been awarded damages for injuries suffered in a subsequent accident where the court has considered how general damages should be assessed/valued?

In most torts, where a defendant breaches their duty towards the claimant, they are only liable if the claimant can establish that the breach in question has resulted in some harm, ie causation.

The extent of the injury suffered, provided that a victim could foreseeably have suffered a particular form of harm (eg distress) from the commission of the unlawful act, is irrelevant. This principle is known as the 'eggshell-skull' rule—see: Dulieu v White & Sons.

‘If a man is negligently run over or otherwise negligently injured in his body, it is no answer to the sufferer's claim for damages that he would have suffered less injury, or no injury at all, if he had not had an unusually thin skull or an unusually weak heart.’

The law also recognises that it is possible for 'eggshell-personalities' to exist (see, for example, Malcolm v Broadbent).

It is not necessary for the claimant to prove that the full extent of the injury actually suffered was foreseeable,

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