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The Oxford History of the Laws of England: Volume XII1820–1914 Private Law$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258826.001.0001

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Personal Injuries

Personal Injuries

(p.958) III Personal Injuries
The Oxford History of the Laws of England: Volume XII

Michael Lobban

Oxford University Press

Since the age of industrialization and urbanization was also one of accidents, personal injury suits constituted a high proportion of cases heard by common law judges. In deciding how far those who had caused accidents were responsible for the harms that ensued, the courts did not develop a general tort of negligence, but looked rather at the particular rights and duties of each of the parties. In dealing with personal injury cases, the courts looked at whether any duty was owed to the victim, and if so, what kind of duty it was. The courts set limits to the reach of liability for accidents that occurred in the world at large by limiting such duties to a defined number, derived from the established categories such as trespass, nuisance, contract, or deceit. This chapter on personal injuries in the 19th century discusses railway accidents, accidents on highways, occupiers' liability, dangerous goods, and damages for personal injury.

Keywords:   English law, personal injury, accidents, liability, damages

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