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Case details

Hassam and another (Appellants) v Rabot and another (Respondents)

Case ID: UKSC 2023/0025

Case summary

Issues

How is the court to assess damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity ("PSLA") where the claimant suffered a whiplash injury which comes within the scope of the Civil Liability Act 2018 (the "2018 Act") and attracts a tariff award stipulated by the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 (the "Regulations"), but also suffers additional injury which falls within the scope of the 2018 Act and does not attract a tariff award?

Facts

This appeal arises from two claims in the County Court in Birkenhead, both involving road traffic accidents as a result of which the claimants suffered whiplash and other injuries. The 2018 Act and the Regulations provide a framework and the corresponding level of compensation (or "tariffs") payable for PSLA caused by whiplash under certain conditions. The dispute arises as to the approach a court should take to compensation for PSLA where the claimant has suffered mixed injuries: i.e. injuries which are covered by the tariffs in the 2018 and Regulations, but also injuries which are not (or "non-tariff injuries"). The extent to which, if at all, the usual principles of common law damages should be applied to the non-tariff injuries is a point of contention.

The County Court at Birkenhead held that, in these "mixed injury" cases, the proper approach is to: (a) determine what each injury is; (b) value each injury in accordance with the appropriate scheme/regime (which may include either the statutory scheme or the common law); (c) add them together and then step back, exercising the type of judicial discretion that judges have been doing over many years; and (d) reach a final figure by making an appropriate deduction (if any). The common law method of assessing damages in relation to the non-tariff injuries was not therefore excluded by the 2018 Act. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The appellants now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2023] EWCA Civ 19

Parties

Appellant(s)

(1) Charlotte Victoria Hassam
(2) Boluwatife Laditan

Respondent(s)

(1) Yoann Samuel Rabot
(2) Matthew David Briggs

Intervener(s)

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and Motor Accident Solicitors Society

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Hamblen, Lord Burrows, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

20 February 2024

Hearing finish date

20 February 2024

Watch hearing
20 February 2024 Morning session Afternoon session