Provisional damages
Produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson
Provisional damages

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note Produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Provisional damages
  • Background and framework
  • Purpose of a provisional damages award
  • The statutory framework
  • Discretion of the court
  • Form of award

Background and framework

Purpose of a provisional damages award

When the court makes a once and for all lump sum award, it is designed to cover both past and future losses. When the claimant's prognosis is uncertain, the court has the power to award provisional damages to avoid injustice to either of the parties.

If a claimant's condition is likely to deteriorate, it would be unfair on the claimant if the court made an award based on their current condition, which could leave them under-compensated if their health worsened. At the same time, it would be unjust on the defendant to make a lump sum award in respect of a future condition that may never develop.

In addition to having the power to make a periodical payments order, the court also has the power to make a provisional damages award to take into account future imponderables.

In particular, this power should be exercised where providing compensation for the risk that a claimant might suffer a serious deterioration would probably result in them b

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