ABSTRACT

Investigating the whole question of 'election' was one of the chief functions of the Monckton Committee on 'alternative remedies' (1944-6). They were charged to inquire how far the recovery of damages, in respect of personal injury, should be affected by the new proposals for social insurance. Thus, when the two Law Reform Acts were passed (1945 and 1948) giving legislative sanction to some of the Monckton Committee recommendations, among the most important provisions were the abolition of the theory of common employment, and the rejection of the doctrine of election. A person injured after July 1948 could receive both the appropriate national insurance benefit and damages, though henceforth the amount awarded in damages would take into account any cash benefit already received - up to a maximum of 50 per cent for five years - and any contributory negligence. Medical benefit obtained and paid for outside the national health scheme, on the other hand, would be allowable in damages. A time limit was also instituted and no application would be valid beyond three years after the date on which the cause of action accrued. *

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