Pain and Suffering Awards: They Shouldn't Be (Just) about Pain and Suffering
In this paper, we challenge the conventional view that pain-and-suffering awards should be interpreted literally as a compensation for feelings of pain and suffering. People adapt to conditions as serious as paraplegia and blindness, returning rapidly to near-normal levels of happiness, which means that pain-and-suffering awards based literally on pain and suffering would be small. We argue that compensation for these types of conditions should be larger than would be dictated by pain and suffering alone because people legitimately care about more than just the pain and suffering that results from an injury; they also care about a variety of other factors, such as their capabilities to perform various functions, that often do not affect happiness. We propose the outlines of a method for determining noneconomic damages that divides the problem into three judgments, each to be made by the constituency most competent to make it. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pogarsky, Greg & Babcock, Linda, 2001. "Damage Caps, Motivated Anchoring, and Bargaining Impasse," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 143-59, January.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Patricia H. Born, 2005. "Damages Caps, Insurability, and the Performance of Medical Malpractice Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(1), pages 23-43.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2004.
"Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study,"
NBER Working Papers
10499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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