Towards a Better Assessment of Pain and Suffering Damages for Personal Injuries

This book proposes a novel way to assess pain and suffering damages. It is based on specialised scientific information regarding the impact of injuries and investigates the positive legal and economic implications that would result from its implementation compared to current approaches.
Author(s):
Vaia Karapanou
Series:
European Studies in Law and Economics (EDLE)
Volume:
12
book | published | 1st edition
July 2014 | xviii + 248 pp.

Paperback
€74.-


ISBN 9781780682303


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Details

The assessment of non-economic damages associated with personal injury remains a daunting task for courts. It is the subject of a longstanding and unresolved debate in legal scholarship, as it involves an evaluation of the impact of the immaterial loss incurred, for which a satisfactory instrument is currently lacking.

Pain and suffering damages are important for compensating the victim, acknowledging the harm suffered and restoring the disturbed peace, and they can also create incentives that have significant economic implications for the decisions of many actors including victims, injurers, insurers, product manufacturers, employers, medical doctors etc.

Towards a Better Assessment of Pain and Suffering Damages for Personal Injuries – A Proposal Based on Quality Adjusted Life Years proposes a novel way to assess pain and suffering damages based on specialised scientific information regarding the impact of different types of injuries. Relevant insights from law and economics literature regarding the minimisation of total accident costs are thoroughly discussed and health economics literature is explored in detail with respect to how different types of injuries and other health conditions affect individuals. Attention is also paid to relevant insights from behavioural economics.

The book thus provides a comprehensive analysis with respect to current legal rules on pain and suffering damages and assessment approaches in England, Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands, and compares the positive legal and economic implications that would result from the implementation of the proposed framework.

The book contributes to the ongoing discussions on tort reform among legal scholars, economists, medical doctors, insurers and legislators. To demonstrate how the proposed framework can be used in practice, pain and suffering damages are assessed for five cases of personal injury and illness (deafness, loss of sight in one eye, paralysis, leg amputation and contraction of HIV-AIDS) and are juxtaposed with the amounts that have actually been awarded by courts for the same type of injuries in England, Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands. By giving straightforward examples of how the proposed framework could be implemented to assess pain and suffering damages based on actual personal injury case law, the book is also of practical value for the judiciary, legal practitioners and policy makers alike.

Chapters

Table of Contents (p. 0)

Chapter 1. Introduction (p. 1)

Chapter 2. How Should Pain and Suffering Damages be Assessed? A Legal Perspective (p. 11)

Chapter 3. How Should Pain and Suffering Damages be Assessed? A Law and Economics Perspective (p. 39)

Chapter 4. Quality Adjusted Life Years. A Measure for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care (p. 69)

Chapter 5. Using QALYs in a Tort Law Context. Assessing Pain and Suffering Damages (p. 117)

Chapter 6. Pain and Suffering Damages Based on QALYs. Circumventing Victims’ (and Judges’) Hedonic Misperceptions (p. 147)

Chapter 7. The QALY Framework Applied. Practical Examples and Implementation Recommendations (p. 173)

Chapter 8. Epilogue (p. 205)

Bibliography (p. 219)

About the series:

European Studies in Law and Economics (EDLE)

The series European Studies in Law and Economics is devoted to further the understanding of Law and Economics in Europe. The volumes published in this series present an interdisciplinary perspective on the effects of laws on people’s behaviour and on the economic system. The ample topics address a wide audience, including policy makers, legislators, economists, lawyers and judges. The series is peer-reviewed.

The series is an initiative of the PhD programme ‘European Doctorate in Law and Economics’ (EDLE). The EDLE is the academic response to the increasing importance of the economic analysis of law in Europe. The programme is offered by the Universities of Bologna, Hamburg and Rotterdam in association with the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai (India). PhD students receive the unique opportunity to study law and economics in three different countries. The programme prepares economists and lawyers of high promise for an academic career in a research field of growing importance or for responsible positions in government, research organisations and international consulting firms.

The European Commission sponsors the EDLE as an excellence programme under the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scheme. For further information please visit: www.edle-phd.eu.

The editorial board of the series consists of Prof. Dr. Michael G. Faure (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. Dr. Luigi A. Franzoni (University of Bologna) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Voigt (University of Hamburg).

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