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Damages and Compensation Culture

21 November 2016

A driver with whiplash

With compensation culture in the news and the Government proposing to limit access to the legal system for those who have suffered whiplash injuries, a timely book has been published which features chapters from two academics from the School of Law and Politics.

Professor Richard Lewis and Annette Morris have contributed to the book Damages and Compensation Culture from Hart Publications. The book deals with allegations that society has had to bear an increasing burden as a result of the rising number and cost of claims for personal injury. Rather than celebrating greater access to the legal system whereby the needs of those injured are more likely to be met, the predominant view of compensation culture is a negative one: it is alleged that unwarranted claims have been generated for which ultimately we all must pay. The authors assess the merits of these arguments and the causes of such public concern.

These chapters are part of a body of work which both contributors have produced over many years on the social and economic effects of the law of tort in practice. This includes a forthcoming empirical study of the views of legal practitioners on how personal injury claims are really litigated.

Explaining this broader approach to legal research, Richard Lewis said, “These chapters reflect distinctive features of studying law at Cardiff University. Taking an interdisciplinary and contextual approach was at the heart of the school when it was founded in the 1970’s and it remains a major focus for the work we do today. We deal with law in the real world.”

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