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Determinants of Noneconomic Damages in Medical Malpractice Settlements and Litigations: Evidence from Texas since 1988

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  • Zhou, Jun

Abstract

There have long been claims that compensations for noneconomic damages are random because tort law does not provide clear guidance regarding these compensations. I investigate, in both settled and tried medical malpractice cases, whether noneconomic damage payments are arbitrary and what determines the probability and size of these payments. I find that payments for noneconomic damages are not completely random. They vary, in predictable ways, with observable characteristics of the case. The data suggest similar patterns in non-medical malpractice cases. I end by discussing the implications of my findings for the debate on the efficiency and rationale of noneconomic damage compensation.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhou, Jun, 2010. "Determinants of Noneconomic Damages in Medical Malpractice Settlements and Litigations: Evidence from Texas since 1988," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 348, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:348
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13206/1/348.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kathryn Zeiler & Charles Silver & Bernard Black & David A. Hyman & William M. Sage, 2007. "Physicians' Insurance Limits and Malpractice Payments: Evidence from Texas Closed Claims, 1990-2003," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages 9-45, June.
    2. Danzon, Patricia, 1984. "The Frequency and Severity of Medical Malpractice Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 115-148, April.
    3. Joni Hersch & Jeffrey O'Connell & W. Kip Viscusi, 2007. "An Empirical Assessment of Early Offer Reform for Medical Malpractice," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages 231-259, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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