A work that could have only been written by lawyers, The Quantum of Damages, sometimes referred to as "Kemp & Kemp" because of its original authors being named that. It is a book that tells you how much compensation you can expect to receive/pay out for various injuries, both physical and mental, sustained by a plaintiff in a personal injury case.

Or, in layman's terms, this is the book that tells you what price a human life.

Well, books. It's not really a single book so much as a number of volumes made up of individual pages in several large A5-sized binders, the idea being that as new cases and so forth come in, you can take out the old pages and put in the new ones. There being lots of such cases occurring on a daily basis, updates are delivered periodically. The contents of the work set out different injures and group together cases based on that injury according to what the plaintiff was awarded at trial, often noting what, in the commentators' view, was the factor that caused it to be worth that monetary award. So, for instance, if I was acting for a client who was out powerbocking and who bust his spring, went down heavily, and cracked his shin, in determining how much to sue the manufacturer of the 'bocks for, you would go to the chapter entitled "Leg," the sub-chapter, "lower leg," and read the cases therein. This would give you a ballpark figure on having bust a shin. But was it merely a simple fracture, or was it a comminuted fracture, or a multiple fracture, or did it cause the bone to poke out the side of his leg? All these are factors that could lower or raise the award accordingly, and there are such cases in Kemp & Kemp to discern this...

Of course, you wouldn't just write to the other side and say, "my client's broke his leg, it's your fault, now pay us £4,600." You'd chisel at them and see if you could get them to settle for more, of course.

In a way, only lawyers could have written Kemp & Kemp or even come up with it. It's so disgustingly cynical I can't help but love it. And as for the question of what price a human life? Assuming your company didn't intentionally kill the poor sap, around £50,000 or so it seems.

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