Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Project 5 - Interim damages in personal injury claims

Project No. 5

Commenced: 1968
Completed: 1969

At the time of the reference it was well established that at common law, damages had to be assessed 'once and for all' and there was no power in the court to order interim or periodic payments.

South Australia had amended its Supreme Court Act to enable its Supreme Court, inter alia, to make interim awards of damages. This prompted the Committee to suggest to the Attorney General that the law in Western Australia also be reviewed.

Terms of Reference

In 1968 the Committee was asked to consider the need for legislation to provide for hearings limited to the question of liability in personal injury cases where the prognosis as to the plaintiff’s condition is in doubt, and the making of awards for the payment of interim damages.

Outcomes

The recommendations dealing with the time limit for commencing an action were given effect by s 29 of the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act Amendment Act (No 2) 1969 (WA). No other legislative action has been taken with regard to the other recommendations made in the report.

The recommendations remain current. While the report was produced more than 30 years ago, the legal framework in which the need first arose remains the same.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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