Bizarre personal injury claims from the late 1800s

Published: 21/07/2011

Think personal injury claims are a recent thing? Guess again!

Insurance company, Aviva, have revealed a numbers of weird and wonderful claims dating back to the 1860s. Here are our favourite five:

  • A Lancashire grocer was awarded £15 in 1878 (today’s equivalent: £724) after slipping whilst playing a game of Blind Man’s Buff.
  • A merchant from Essex received £50 compensation in 1892 (today’s equivalent: £2,994) after injuring his eye while throwing rice at a wedding.
  • An artist from Swansea was paid £30 in 1886 (today’s equivalent: £1,796) after he was blown down by a gale of wind. (You couldn’t make these up!)
  • A Birmingham innkeeper who mistook a poisonous potion for a sleeping medicine was awarded a staggering £1,000 in 1878 (today’s equivalent: £48,310).
  • And finally, a Glasgow merchant suffered a personal injury after jumping out of bed to catch his fainting wife. He was paid £42 in 1895 (today’s equivalent: £2,575).

Aviva is currently displaying these bizarre claims and more at its headquarters in Norwich.

Guardian (July 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles