Studies of a new brain imaging technique could change the way that injury compensation claims are settled in court.
Scientists believe they have discovered a way to use brain scans to see which nerves are being activated, thereby measuring the extent of a subject’s pain.
The breakthrough could potentially impact on injury compensation cases, as lawyers could eventually use the technology to verify a victim’s claims about how much pain they are suffering.
Irene Tracey, professor of anaesthetic science at Oxford University, said the findings bring us closer to finding a non-subjective way of measuring pain.
"Pain seems to increase the blood flow to certain parts of the brain, roughly in proportion to the amount of pain felt and we can measure that activation in a brain scan," she told the Times.
The news follows the announcement that Britain’s nuclear test veterans may be able to claim for compensation, following the results of a high court ruling.