Compensation in tort law and degrees of fault

Tort law is concerned with civil liability. Civil liability is imposed when a tort is committed. A tort implies a breach of a duty which is determined by the law. It can lead to litigation between the wrongdoer and the victim and the objective is to compensate the victim for the wrongdoing.

To my great surprise, compensation in the UK does not take into consideration the degree of fault when the wrongdoer acts.

This is certainly a major difference with the French tort system: according to the degree of fault, it will be more or less easy for the victim to show evidence of the harm done and obtain compensation, as a result of it.

In the British system, a defendant who lacks experience or is distracted for a second may end up paying the same damages as one who shows considerable carelessness.

There is certainly a lot to say about tort law which does not seem to compensate fully and adequately victims both in France and the UK. However, defendants seem to be in a better position in France than in the UK, where the system appears to cause injustice to some of them.

Click here to read an introduction to tort law in France


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