Appeal Court cuts injuries damages

A Court of Appeal decision to slash damages for severely injured accident victims has been described as a “return to the Dark Ages” by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

In a hearing last week, the Court of Appeal substantially reduced damages awarded to personal injury victims in three separate cases.

The victims' damages had been awarded in line with recommendations made by the Law Commission and the government auditor, Sir Michael Ogden, which said damages should be determined according to a secure actuarial table. This approach led to higher damages.

Rejecting this system, the Court of Appeal last week slashed damages for all three cases, imposing an overall decrease of around £1.5m.

The decision marks a return to the previous system of awarding damages, which expects victims to invest on the Stock Exchange to make sufficient income.

Andrew Dismore, the Apil spokesperson on damages, called on the Lord Chancellor's Department to use its legislative powers and introduce instructions to judges on the calculation of damages.

“The Court of Appeal has returned to the Dark Ages. All the research shows that accident victims can least afford to have their damages gambled away by the courts.”