Occupational Damage – Interaction between Tort Law and other Compensation Schemes
This thesis addresses the issue of compensation for work-related injuries – the so called occupa-tional damages. Such damage compensations are to be found at several different levels of the total legal system connected to compensation. Tort law, private insurance law, insurances due to collective bargaining, public insurances covering occupational damages as well as different areas of the social security system are all connected in a vast and complex structure. An important feature of the thesis is to analyse the so called “interdependence” between the different compen-sation systems. Since work-related injuries can be compensated according to several schemes – and since these schemes are mutually related to each other, and since the requirements and compensation levels etc continuously are transformed – the systematic and practical conse-quences of both content and changes in other parts of the system are important issues to analyse and describe. In Part I, the total system – the so called Swedish, or Nordic, model – and its historical development are presented.
In Part II of the thesis, it is established what kind of damage situations, which can at all give rise to claims for compensation. Important issues are thereby the requirements of the concept of damage regarding this area of the law (the “work-related injury”); medical and legal aspects of accidental events and work-related illness are thereby examined. Also the subject matter of causation – “causation-in-fact” and “causation-in-law” – are brought into the analysis; the purpose is to give guidance specifically regarding different problematic issues, which arise when dealing with causation of occupational damage. Another factor of crucial importance is the procedural law and its requirements about burden of proof and what is to be counted as proven.
If Part II of the thesis has shown the way “into the system”, Part III describes what a person can “get out of the system”. The different forms of compensation are conveyed, with emphasis on income loss. A significant topic thereby is to analyse the coordination effect – interdependence – due to the fact that work-related injuries are administered by various authori-ties and insurance boards.
Part IV contains concluding remarks concerning legal aspects on collective agreement regulation of action for damages – the safety insurance – whereby the debate individualism versus collectivism is involved. Some individuals can lose opportunities typical of a regular tort law claim, so the question is if the insurance system is exclusively regulating the occupational damages or if a tort law claim in some cases could be considered. Moreover, the issue tort law versus insurance law and social welfare law is discussed. The author’s general aim in the thesis is to give stimulus to both critical and constructive discussions concerning the present situation and the development in this field of law.
Keywords: arbetsskada, skadeståndsrätt, försäkringsrätt, socialförsäkring, trygghetsförsäkring, ersättningsrätt, svenska modellen, personskada, orsakssamband, bevisning, beräkning av ersätt-ning.