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Tort Law Primary and Secondary Victims

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    Hi all,

    I have a quick question regarding this. Part of my problem question involves a woman and her child. They were hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing. The child was killed instantly and the woman was unconscious due to massive blood loss. The woman developed psychological trauma as a result of the incident.

    Now, obviously the woman is a primary victim and could receive damages for psychiatric injury in relation to trauma suffered as a result of her injuries.

    However, my question is whether she could also be considered a secondary victim as she (arguably) witnessed someone else being endangered or harmed (i.e her son).

    I only ask because if she is just a primary victim then it seems quite simple and there is already a similar situation in the problem question concerning a primary victim and I believe this has something else to it which I'm missing.
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    I didn't think you could be both primary and secondary victim?
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    (Original post by The Dynamic Uno)
    I didn't think you could be both primary and secondary victim?
    I'm not sure that you can either, I'm just looking to get some clarification.

    For contest, this problem question involves 5 different clients. One of whom is the bog standard primary victim therefore can claim for psychiatric injury as well. This woman is another one entirely and I don't think it could be exactly the same.

    Particularly so since the question says 70% of your words should contain your advice to A B C D which works out at 437 words per person roughly.
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    I thought, as above that she is a primary victim. In any case she cannot be compensated twice for the same damage/injury. But I see your problem - if she's in a problem question there must be an issue to discuss. Just wondering - and I may be talking nonsense here - if you can seperate out the cause of damage. Was the blood loss and unconciousness the result of the accident - primary victim. But what was the cause of the psychiatric harm ? Are there 2 seperate claims with different causation factors?
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    (Original post by cliffg)
    I thought, as above that she is a primary victim. In any case she cannot be compensated twice for the same damage/injury. But I see your problem - if she's in a problem question there must be an issue to discuss. Just wondering - and I may be talking nonsense here - if you can seperate out the cause of damage. Was the blood loss and unconciousness the result of the accident - primary victim. But what was the cause of the psychiatric harm ? Are there 2 seperate claims with different causation factors?
    That's what I was planning on doing. E.g that she could claim physical damage due to the collision but as she was unconscious when her son was killed she would actually be a secondary victim when it comes to claiming psychiatric injury. I'm going to do all the others first and then if I have enough words left over I will include it.

    I don't think it would have been included in the question if there wasn't something to it. However, the instructions do say "Focus exclusively on duty of care issues in respect of a claim for damages (compensation) in civil negligence only (do not discuss standard of care, causation and remoteness of damage)"
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    Sorry - I was talking nonsense. At the end of the day we still have the same defendant. I can't see the issue. A driver hits 2 people crossing the road - he owed them a duty of care and breached it. Let's wait for wiser heads to chip in. Cheers.

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