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(sec. 6) that no action shall be prosecuted against any person in whose house or chamber any fire accidentally begins, nor should any recompense be made by such person for any damage suffered or occasioned thereby. The same principle is incorporated in our more modern law upon the subject.

By the Code Napoléon (sec. 1733), the lessee of a house is answerable for a fire, unless he can prove that the same happened by accident, or causes beyond his control.

In Accident Ins. it is of the very essence of the contract that the cause of injury be purely accidental, and that such injuries alone be recognized as are the direct result of the accident. [NEGLIGENCE.]

ACCIDENT OR NEGLIGENCE, DEATHS FROM.-These rank in the Reg.-Gen. classification as Order I, of the class of VIOLENT DEATHS, and embrace Fractures and Contusions, Gunshot Injuries, Cuts and Stabs, Burns and Scalds, Poison, Drowning, Suffocation, and otherwise, making in all eight enumerated forms, each of which will be again spoken of under its proper head.

The deaths from Accidental Violence are far more numerous than those not acquainted with the subject would imagine. It is only since the General Registration Act came into operation (1837) that we have been enabled to obtain even an approximate idea of their extent. The first return was for the year 1838, when the deaths under this head in E. and W. were 11,727, of which 8,359 of those killed were males, and 3,368 females. In 1839 the total deaths were 11,632 in about the like proportions. In 1840, 11,594; in 1841, 11,100; in 1842, 11,092. We then have no return until 1847, when they had increased to 12,917. Since that date the returns have been made regularly, and are as follows:Deaths in England and Wales from Accidental Violence annually from 1848, distinguishing the sexes:

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These results present a wonderful uniformity, and indeed establish the fact that the law of average obtains as fully in this class of deaths as in those resulting from what are usually termed natural causes. It will be observed, however, that the increase, which has been very great during the last five years, is chiefly in the males. The females have fluctuated very little during the period under observation.

An analysis of the deaths by Accidental Violence in 1840 furnished the following details:-Out of 7,152 males 3,268 were under 20, and 3,884 above. Out of 2,828 females 1,996 were under 20, and 832 above. Lancashire and Cheshire presented the highest totals for both males and females. In those counties united the death-rate from this cause was, for males 1,098, for females 459 to one million living. In Lond. alone no less than 1,016 persons were killed that year, of whom 711 were males, and 305 females. The deaths from accidents were, therefore, for males 821, and females 310 to one million living. The causes of death were thus classified: Mechanical injuries 3,305, Chemical injuries 3,245, Drowning, etc., 2,297.

The Reg.-Gen., in his 6th R. (1842), thus drew attention to this subject :

The violent deaths in England appear to be nearly twice as frequent as in other countries of Europe from which returns have been procured. . The coroners' informations, although not made at present on a uniform plan, furnish many valuable facts, and when compared with the occupations and other circumstances recorded in the registers, or ascertained at the census, become doubly interesting... it is very desirable that in all cases in which inquests are held the coroners should instruct the juries to state in their verdicts with greater minuteness than at present the cause of death; recording more in detail the nature of the injury, and the circumstances in which the death happened.

In his 19th R. (1856) there is a most careful analysis of the deaths of this class for the five years 1852-56. The total deaths in that period were 68,554, of which 50,287 occurred to males, and 18,267 to females. 20,786 deaths were occasioned by mechanical injuries, 19,131 by suffocation in various forms, including drowning, 15,226 arose from chemical injuries, 5,328 from violence in forms not particularized; 4,927 arose from coal mines, and 756 from other mines. The remaining 2,400 arose from railways. annual average from these several causes was: Mechanical injuries, 4,157; Drowning, etc., 3,826; Chemical injuries, 3,045; Violence, 1,065; Coal mines, 985; other mines, 151; Railways, 480.


In Dr. Farr's letter to the Reg.-Gen., in the same R., the following details are given regarding the year 1856. The mort. from violent causes was nearly 8 in 10,000 living, and nearly 4 in 100 deaths were by violence; 2,919 deaths were from burns and scalds ;

2,681 were from drowning; and the deaths at sea were not included in the registers; 5,433 deaths were from fractures and contusions. He says:

The progress of science has created new forces often fatal, and has produced new substances, of which our forefathers had no knowledge. Machinery is organized on a large scale, so that the lives of numbers of men are liable to be destroyed, not by malicious intent, but by the negligence of other men who have their lives in charge.

He adds: "1,107 persons are killed annually by horses and horse conveyances; "more than double the number killed by railways.

In the Assu. Mag. for 1860 (Vol. 9) will be found an able paper by Mr. H. W. Porter, B.A., On some considerations suggested by the Ann. R. of the Reg.-Gen., in which the frightful accidents happening in Factories are reviewed, and some very sensible suggestions made for their remedy.

Over a period of 15 years ending 1864, the deaths from accidents and negligence averaged 691 per million of the pop. living; ranging from 649 in 1858 to 733 in 1865.

The deaths in 1867 were thus divided: Males 11,446, Females 3701. Of the males 791 met with their deaths under one year of age, and 2069 under 5; 753 between 5 and 10; 870 between 10 and 15; 946 between 15 and 20; 949 between 20 and 25; 1501 between 25 and 35; 1347 between 35 and 45; 1083 between 45 and 55; 858 between 55 and 65; 569 between 65 and 75; 231 between 75 and 85; 47 between 85 and 95, and I above 95. Of the Females, 715 met with their deaths under one year, and 1566 under five years; 372 between 5 and 10; 153 between 10 and 15; 118 between 15 and 20; 84 between 20 and 25; 140 between 25 and 35; 154 between 35 and 45; 190 between 45 and 55; 198 between 55 and 65; 259 between 65 and 75; 288 between 75 and 85; 98 between 85 and 95, and 4 over 95.

Mons. A. Legoyt, the head of the General Statistical Department of France, and secretary of the Statistical So. of Paris, has recently (1865) drawn to a conclusion some researches relative to "Accidents in Europe and the United States," a résumé of which can scarcely fail to be of interest. We purpose, therefore, to lay before our readers the more important inferences which may be deduced from M. Legoyt's labours, availing ourselves of the services of a writer in the Lancet, who has travelled over the same ground. The questions with which the French statistician has busied himself are-Ist, the ratio of accidents to the population; 2nd, their ratio to the general mortality of each sex; and 3rd, their ratio as regards the female population, the male standard being taken at 100, in the different countries which enter into the comparison here made. From some of the numbers given we find that the proportion of fatal accidents to the population varies between the maxima of 682, 679, and 575 to a million of inhabitants in England, Norway, and the United States, and the co-efficient minima of 201, 202, and 232 of Russia, Spain, and Denmark.

It is evident from such variable proportions that the determining causes of fatal accidents must be of very complex nature, and cannot be explained simply by what may be called the economic character of different countries. In fact, if the predominance of manufacturing and mining industry justifies the exceptional rate of fatal accidents in England, and to a certain extent in the United States, it surely cannot do so as regards Norway, the Duchy of Oldenburg, and Sweden. On the other hand, we should miss with surprise Belgium and Saxony, two of the chief industrial States of Europe, from amongst the countries with a high rate of mortality from fatal accidents, if a great development of manufacturing industry were the chief cause of such mortality. We must, therefore, fall back upon the existence of special local causes dependent on the manners, customs, and configuration of the country, perils of navigation, fishing, and modes of transport, neglect of children, or actual exposure of them to dangers of various kinds, etc.


There would not appear to be any absolute relation between the ratio of deaths from accidents and the population, and between such ratio and the total number of deaths. Herein exists two classes of facts, indeed essentially distinct from each other. relatively large number of accidents need have but a slight influence in the production of the causes of general mortality. The proportion of such accidents amongst women to 100 amongst men oscillates between one-fourth and one-third. It would appear to be quite exceptional in the United States (46 per 100). In our own country the proportion is relatively high; and here a great number of female hands participate in the production of our industry. M. Legoyt has been able to compare only a small number of countries, in reference to the immediate causes or nature of accidents.

With the exception of England, where "burns and scalds," and of the United States, where contusions and injuries (classified under "crushing and bruising"), occupy the first place amongst accidents, "submersion" is the cause of the greatest number of deaths. Next come falls from an elevation; then burns, crushings, and asphyxia. Amongst the Scandinavian countries the large number of "congelations" is not to be wondered at ; but there must evidently be some error as regards Spain in this particular. So also, whilst we are not surprised to find that "alcoholic excesses" play an important part in Russia and Sweden, we are struck by their insignificance in England, Denmark, and the United States; some fallacy, we suspect, likewise lurks here. It is with respect to "burns" that the ratio of fatal accidents rises higher amongst women than amongst men. M. Legoyt's researches tend to show that accidental deaths nearly everywhere increase more rapidly than does the population. In France, for example, the following successive

and increasing ratio has taken place: :- -15 fatal accidents to 100,000 inhabitants from 1827 to 1830; 16 ditto from 1831 to 1835; 19 ditto from 1836 to 1840; 22 ditto from 1841 to 1845; 24 ditto from 1846 to 1850; 25 ditto from 1851 to 1855; and 28 ditto from 1856 to 1860. No doubt some of this increase is due to the more exact character of recent enumerations; still, the continuously progressive rate which is here seen indicates a sure though lamentable onward movement.

Children appear to constitute a high proportion of the victims of fatal accidents. In Bavaria the latter form a very large part of the causes of mortality of childhood and adolescence, from birth to 20 years of age, and within this range the maximum is attained between the time of birth and five years. Submersion is the more frequent causeparticularly as regards male children-of the fatal event. Burns and poisoning are frequent in tender years; but strangely enough, children are less frequently victims in towns than in country districts.

The ratio of females to males as regards accidents tends to increase, probably with the participation of the former in industrial occupations. In Bavaria and in Saxony the ratio is highest during early infancy, and in the former State lowest between 40 and 50 years of age. At every age it attains its maximum through "burns," which in Bavaria are more common during summer than in winter. Women more frequently succumb to burns, suffocation by fire, submersion, and poisoning.

M. Legoyt found fatal accidents to be of much more frequent occurrence in summer than during the other three seasons of the year, and considered this probably due to the fact of the former season being the chief one for out-door operations, navigation, etc. In England it is found that the extremes of heat and cold are productive of non-fatal injuries. The statistics of non-fatal injuries do not properly arise here. We shall refer to them under ACCIDENT INS.

Where death or personal injury results from negligence as distinguished from accident, the person or persons occasioning the same are liable to damages under Lord Campbell's Act, of which we shall speak fully under INJURIES (personal) and NEGLIGENCE.

We propose now to glance at the mort. of Insured life arising from accidents :In the Equitable during a period of 32 years, 1801-32, out of 4,095 deaths, 40 (or about 1 in every 100) were from accidents. In 7 cases the ages were under 30 years; II between 40 and 50; 9 between 50 and 60; 4 between 60 and 70; 5 between 70 and 80; and 4 over 80.

In the Scottish Widows, out of 1,398 deaths in 7 years ending 1866, there were but 40 included under the class Violent deaths, of which, no doubt, the greater proportion would be from accident.

In the Scottish Equitable, out of 1,855 deaths in 33 years ending 1864, there were 70 included under head of Violent deaths; but as no details are given it is impossible to say the precise proportion from accidents.

In the Scottish Amicable, out of 773 deaths occurring during a period of 34 years, 1826-60, 25 are returned as arising from accidental injuries, and 10 from drowning in addition—thus there are 35 deaths from accident, or nearly 5 p.c.

In the Gresham, out of 1,000 deaths occurring in a period of 18 years, 12 are returned as from accidents, and 14 from drowning—making in all 26, or more than 21⁄2 p.c. of the entire deaths.

In the Briton, out of 1,165 deaths in 5 years, 31 are returned as from accidents, in add. to 19 from drowning-being very nearly from the combined causes 5 p.c. of the deaths!

Life may sometimes be saved by a prompt and judicious treatment in cases of accident and emergency even before medical aid can arrive. The Accident Ins. Co., fully alive to this fact, distribute to its agents and pol.-holders a sheet of directions accompanied by diagrams showing how to proceed in many of the most frequent cases of injury. This sheet was prepared by Alfred Smee, Esq., F. R.S.

There are several other publications having a similar aim, viz :
Hand-book for Emergencies, pub. by Cassell, Petter, and Galpin (1861).

First Help in Accidents, prepared by Dr. C. H. Schaible, M.D., and pub. by Hardwick (1864). [RAILWAY ACCIDENTS.] [VIOLENT DEATHS.]

ACCIDENT INS., HIST. OF.-This branch of Ins., when spoken of by previous writers, has generally been classed under the comprehensive designation of "Casualty Ins." It is still so called in the U.S. At the best Accident Ins. can constitute but one department of casualty business. We think the time has arrived when it should be placed under its distinctive title of ACCIDENT INS.

Accident Ins. in its present form represents one of the most popular adaptations of the principle of ins. to the requirements of every-day life. It meets a recognized want. It gives to the professional and better classes a means of protection from the pecuniary and other consequences of disablement, in a purely business form. What Friendly Societies do for the industrial classes, Accident Ins. does for the higher classes. The cost of Accident Ins. may be said to be within the reach of every one for whom it is especially intended.

It has been truly said "there are hundreds of thousands who cannot afford to be run

over; to whom a lingering illness would be misery, and whose death would scatter or starve their families. A serious or severe accident would probably deprive a clerk of his situation, and a small tradesman of his business, leaving them no home but the hospital, and no hope but the grave." But the advantages of Accident Ins. are too palpable to need argument. The neglect of it too frequent to escape notice !

The prosp. of one of the existing Accident Cos. puts the matter in a very businesslike shape

The same arguments which have induced the public to insure so largely against damage to property by Fire-to ships by the perils of the Sea-and to secure a fund payable on the ordinary termination of Life are exactly applicable to Ins, against expenses and loss of income consequent on an Accident, and to secure a fund in case of death happening by some extraordinary casualty. It is not meant that the mere fact of receiving injury should entitle the Assured to Compensation. To pretend to pay for pain of mind or body would be absurd. The allowance for injury is intended to be paid when it is sufficiently serious to prevent the Assured from following his usual occupation or pursuits, and to serve as an indemnity for the loss thereby incurred.

It is generally considered that the business of Accident Ins. is of very modern origin, and, indeed, in its present form it dates no further back than 1848. But there are many early indications of the idea and intention of Accident Ins. which demand a passing notice.

In the ancient Sea-Laws of Wisby, under date 1541, mention is made of the practice of the owners of ships insuring the lives of the masters against the perils of the sea. The passage in which this allusion occurs is believed not to be part of the original code of Wisby, or indeed it would demand an earlier date; but it is admitted that it must have been interpolated about the date named; and it is therefore the first mention we have of any species of Ins. falling within the scope of Accident Ins.

In 1661 M. Cleirac brings under notice a French pub. called Le Guidon, said to have been orig. compiled "for the benefit of the merchants trading in the noble city of Rouen.” This work is believed to be more than 300 years old; and it contains an account of various descriptions of Ins. as then practised, some of which are very remarkable. That most nearly resembling modern Accident Ins. is as follows:-" Another kind of Ins. is made by other nations, upon the life of men, in case of their decease upon their voyage, to pay certain sums to their heirs or creditors."

We have next a more direct example of the embodiment of the principle of non-fatal Accident Ins., but applied to the casualties of warfare. In 1665 England declared war against the United Netherlands. The Republic issued a proclamation announcing the amount of recompense which would be awarded to soldiers wounded in the service of their country, as follows:

For loss of both eyes, 1,500 livres = £62 10s. For loss of right hand, 350 livres


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And other arrangements were made for those suffering from less definite injuries. It appears from a R. made to the Lords of the Treasury in 1694, on the petition of Capt. Betsworth, of the Fusileers, who had lost his leg in battle, that it had been the custom to allow to a soldier a year's pay for the loss of a limb. This would not have been a very high assessment considering the small pay of the army at that date.

Injuries incurred in actual warfare do not come within the ordinary scope of Accident Ins.; but they have within recent times been specially insured against both in England and America. The similarity of the preceding Table to one now actually in use, and to which we shall have occasion presently more particularly to refer, is very remarkable.

The system of Accident Ins., as now practised, may be said in some measure to owe its origin to the development of Railway travelling-although the ins. against_Railway accidents forms but a very unimportant part of the business of Accident Ins. However, with 1845-memorable in the hist. of Railway enterprise-our record begins. The following is an accurate list of this especial class of ins. projects in that and several subsequent years:—

1845. Railway British and Foreign L. and Property Ins. Co.

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Out of this list of projected Cos. only two became completely founded. The Railway Passengers Co. was prov. regis. on the 15th Dec., 1848; and on the following day (16th Dec.) the Railway Assu. Co. was prov. regis.

The Railway Passengers became comp. regis. on 22nd March, 1849. Its operations extended only to insuring against Railway accidents, fatal and non-fatal. The prem. charged to people of the first class was I p.a. to insure £1,000 at death, with proportionate compensation for non-fatal injury. The Co. defined a Railway accident to be an accident happening to a train whilst in motion-a definition admitting of some doubt, as many trains have been run into by other trains while themselves standing still at Railway Stations, junctions, etc.; and the Co. always paid in such cases. The strict definition of a Railway injury is, perhaps, an accident happening to a passenger whilst travelling in a Railway Train, in conformity with the Railway Co.'s By-laws.

On the 24th January, 1850, the Accidental Death Ins. Co., which had been projected in the previous year under the title of the Accidental Death Indemnity Asso., was completely regis. The original object of the promoters had been simply to insure against fatal accidents from all causes, or such accidents as terminated fatally within three months after their occurrence. But almost before business operations had been commenced, the then Actuary of the Co., Mr. Edward Riley, suggested to the Board the desirability of giving the operations of the Co. a wider range, viz., insuring "compensation for bodily injury occurring to any person or persons from any accidental or violent cause or causes not occasioning death" This recommendation was adopted by the proprietors on June 3, 1850; and from that day dates the modern system of Accident Ins.

The original prosp. of the Co. contained the following, and it is impossible to put the arguments in fewer words :

The numerous casualties to which the life of man is liable are subjects of daily occurrence and observation, there is scarcely an individual who cannot refer within the sphere of his own family or acquaintance to instances of sudden or accidental death; and few who cannot look back to their own providential escape from imminent danger. To guard against the consequences of such a calamity, whether happening in the pursuit of business or of pleasure, is the duty of every one, and this Co. will afford to all, according to their circumstances, the means of obtaining so desirable an object.


The difficulties of obtaining reliable data on which to base the rates of prem. were great, but were overcome. The rates for persons not exposed to any special risk from occupation were fixed as follows:-To cover death by accident 1 p.a. for £1000. cover death and compensation for non-fatal injury £3 10s. p.a. securing £1000 at death, and £5 per week during entire disablement, with a sum not exceeding £10 for medical attendance during the injury. For persons of hazardous occupations there were special rates; as also for loss of leg or arm, or total loss of sight. For Railway Accidents only the prem. was 10s. p.a. for £1000 at death and £5 per week compensation during


The scheme of allowing medical expenses was based upon the theory that every one injured should have good medical attendance, and the Co. would provide some compensation for the medical man. It was thought that efficient medical supervision would lead to speedy recovery from the injury sustained. The practice too often worked the other way. In cases of slight injury, the medical men would keep the patients on the funds of the Co. until the allowance for medical expenses became exhausted thus too often the Co. had to pay the claimant £5 per week, while the doctor was working up his bill to the 10 limit. After a few years trial, the scheme of medical expenses came to be abandoned; and the allowance to the insured increased to £6 per week under a £1000 policy-the insured paying his own medical attendant.

Among the early Directors of this pioneer Co. in the business of ins. against "accidents from all causes," were several gentlemen who believed that the great masses of workmen in the manufacturing districts would be among the first to avail themselves of the scheme. Never was a greater misapprehension. Deputations were formed; meetings were held; but no practical result followed. Again and again the attempt was made; but with unvarying non-success. The present writer may claim the credit of pointing out to these disappointed gentlemen that the real field for their enterprise lay with the professional and mercantile classes. The new experiment was inaugurated during the year 1852. Its success was very speedily proclaimed. We may put on record here as a matter of history, and as indicative of the tardy growth of this now great branch of Ins. enterprise, the income of this Co. during the first nine years of its existence, viz. :—

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On the 16th July, 1850, the Railway Assu. Co. (prov. regis. in 1848) became completely registered, and commenced business. Its scheme was to charge a single premium of £2 25. for the whole of life to cover the risk of being killed while travelling by Railway. This Co. did not limit its ins. in the same manner as the Railway Passengers Co.; but its pol. covered accidents and injuries incident to Railway travelling ;-such as stepping from the train to the platform, being run against by the Luggage barrows, and other incidental risks.

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