After the Crash: Citizens' Perceptions of Connective-Tissue Injury Lawsuits

34 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2007

See all articles by Valerie P. Hans

Valerie P. Hans

Cornell University - School of Law

Nicole Vadino

Community College of Philadelphia

Date Written: September 5, 2007

Abstract

Even though automobile accident cases comprise a substantial portion of the state jury trial caseload, the humble automobile case has attracted minimal scholarly attention. However, many members of the public believe that whiplash, a connective-tissue or soft-tissue injury from auto accidents, is oftentimes fraudulent. To explore public perceptions, a national survey included a scenario experiment that varied types of minor injuries from an automobile accident. As predicted, the plaintiff who experienced a bone fracture was seen as more likely to be suffering a real injury than a plaintiff who reported suffering from a connective-tissue injury. The fracture was also viewed as more serious than the connective-tissue injury, despite the fact that the consequences for the plaintiff were described in identical terms. The role of personal experience and demographic and attitudinal characteristics in responses to these injuries was explored.

Suggested Citation

Hans, Valerie P. and Vadino, Nicole, After the Crash: Citizens' Perceptions of Connective-Tissue Injury Lawsuits (September 5, 2007). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1012392 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1012392

Valerie P. Hans (Contact Author)

Cornell University - School of Law ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
607-255-0095 (Phone)

Nicole Vadino

Community College of Philadelphia

United States

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