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European Tort Law$
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Cees van Dam

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672264.001.0001

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Damage and Damages

Damage and Damages

(p.346) 12 Damage and Damages
European Tort Law

Cees Van Dam

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the functions of damages: these are not only aimed at compensating the claimant but also at vindicating his rights and deterring the tortfeasor and other potential wrongdoers. The victim's right to damages for personal injury differs substantially from system to system, particularly in the area of non-pecuniary loss. Moreover, differences are apparent if someone is injured or killed in an accident, and as a consequence, his relatives suffer harm. The chapter also analyzes the rules applying to the victim's contributory negligence. This defence generally leads to a lower amount of damages and, in extraordinary circumstances, even to zero compensation. Whereas England and Germany are reluctant to attribute contributory negligence to children, the French approach is remarkably less child-friendly.

Keywords:   compensation, claimants, personal injury, contributory negligence, tort law

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