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 Damages for personal injury and services rendered
Personal injury claims

Damages for personal injury and services rendered



In February 2022, the Scottish Law Commission launched a consultation on damages for personal injury. The purpose of the consultation is to examine whether, and if so, how, any clarification or reform of the law in this area should be undertaken to reflect societal changes. It is anticipated that the Commission will complete its review within the next couple of months.

One area under review relates to the compensation payable to reflect the gratuitous care, help and assistance provided to an injured person by their relatives. Consideration is being given to whether compensation payable should be restricted to “relatives” alone or if the definition should be widened to incorporate other relationships – such as friends and neighbours.

In Scotland, under Sections 8 and 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982, an injured person can ask for compensation for the “necessary” services rendered to them by a relative and for “personal” services which a relative renders on behalf of an injured person due to the injured persons incapacity to do so as a result of their injury.  At present, compensation can only be claimed on behalf of relatives who are providing the assistance.

In terms of the current legislation, the term “relative”, means:

  1. the spouse or divorced spouse;
  2. the civil partner or former civil partner;
  3. any person not being a spouse or civil partner of the injured person who was at the time of the accident lived with the injured person as husband or wife or civil partner;
  4. any ascendent or descendant;
  5. any brother, sister, uncle or aunt or any issue of any such person;
  6. any person accepted by the injured person as a child of their family;

It is estimated that, in Scotland, around 36% of households are one-person households. Whilst being in a one-person household does not of itself mean that there will be no support from family members, it may be indicative that there may be more reliance on neighbours or friends rather than family members in times of need. Neighbours and friends do not meet the current definition of “relative” and therefore, compensation for the help and assistance they provide to an injured person cannot be guaranteed.

It is expected that the Commission will publish its findings, shortly and its recommendations will then be made to the Scottish Parliament so watch this space!


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Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.