From a practical point of view, negligence is the most important and dynamic of all torts. Its emergence as a separate tort in the early part of the 19th century coincided with the industrial revolution in Britain and the advent of machinery, railways and motor vehicles. To this day, it has retained its function as the principal means of compensating the victims of accidents, particularly those occurring on the roads. More recently, the tort of negligence has been extended to include certain types of economic loss, including loss caused by careless words. In the Caribbean, the vast majority of negligence actions are concerned with road accidents, and in many of these the main issue is the assessment of damages. The courts in the Commonwealth Caribbean have, in general, adopted a practical approach to negligence claims and have eschewed the more theoretical discussions relating to the concept of the duty of care which have so preoccupied the English courts.