The commission issued a report after a sub-committee conducted a public consultation and studied similar legislation in other jurisdictions.
The commission said existing laws only allow courts to award damages in a lump sum after judges assess the claimants’ past and future losses.
However, it noted that this approach had come under criticism for being “imprecise and unscientific”.
“Assessing a ‘once and for all’ lump sum award is a difficult task for courts, as any assessment of damages for future pecuniary loss must consider what a plaintiff might have earned but for the injury, the earning capacity of the plaintiff after the injury and any additional expenses incurred following the injury,” the report wrote.
The commission made a number of recommendations, including legislating to empower courts to make periodical payment orders to cover all losses, including the costs of care and accommodation.
But it said the orders should be limited to catastrophic cases.
“It means a personal injury which is of such severity that it results in a permanent disability to the person requiring the person to receive long-term care and assistance in all activities of daily-living or substantial part thereof,” explained Raymond Leung, who chairs the Periodical Payments for Future Pecuniary Loss in Personal Injury Cases Sub-committee.
The report also suggested that the court review the order if there are changes in the need for and level of future care as a result of significant medical deterioration or improvement.
Leung said each claimant can only ask for one review, balancing the need for finality between the parties, and the possibility that changes could occur in the claimant’s circumstances.