Chapter 1: Accident compensation*
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The issue of how victims of accidents can receive compensation has been addressed for a long time in many legal systems and of course also in comparative law. The complicated issue of the topic ‘accident compensation’ is of course that a variety of legal instruments come to mind that can be used by victims to receive compensation after an accident has happened. Some of these will be discussed in other items in this Encyclopedia. This is more particularly the case for tort and for insurance, both of which are important instruments. There is also an extensive literature describing the ways in which victims can achieve compensation for their damage not only in different countries, but also from a comparative perspective. It seems as if recently the number of publications in this domain has been on the increase. One reason for the interest in accident compensation may simply be increasing interest in the harmonization of law and more particularly of private law in Europe. This has given rise to many volumes which usually are based on country reports describing the situation in the author’s home country and which usually contain a comparative analysis as well. Many of these books have as their goal to examine whether there is a common core in the (European) legal systems which could be used as the basis for possible harmonization of the law with respect to accident compensation.

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Edited by Jan M. Smits