Thursday, September 24, 2009

Non-fatal Injury Jury Awards Are Rational

An article in the Review of Law Economics Journal, "Valuation of Quality of Life Losses Associated with Nonfatal Injury: Insights from Jury Verdict Data," finds that jury awards for non-fatal injuries are rational.

The authors, Deborah Vaughn Aiken and William W. Zamula, found that the awards include payment for reduction in quality adjusted life years (QALYs) due to the injury suffered. The QALY award is in addition to the award for direct costs, such as medical costs, and indirect costs, such as reduced productivity.

The researchers find that these non-fatal injury awards are rational and systematic, and that the most significant determinant appears to be injury severity, measured as the QALY loss.

The article is gated but the abstract is available here.

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