Estimating Pain and Suffering Damages - Paths are Many, Loss is One.

Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2015

See all articles by Ronen Avraham

Ronen Avraham

Tel Aviv University - Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law; University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

Date Written: January 18, 2015

Abstract

Opponents of pain and suffering damages argue that, unlike pecuniary damages, pain and suffering damages are hard to quantify accurately. They argue that victims exaggerate their losses to receive higher damage awards, so that awarding pain and suffering damages may frustrate the function of tort law by compensating the victims too highly and arbitrarily. Another argument against pain and suffering damages is that the difficulty in objective measurement leaves the potential for enormous variance in awards at the discretion of individual judges and juries. This individual discretion may create a lack of horizontal equity and thus impede consistency among awards for like victims.

In a recent paper I argued that from a law and economics perspective pain and suffering damages should be fully compensated and should receive the same “respect” that economic damages receive (Avraham, 2015). I provided several arguments for that view. In this chapter I survey a number of solutions discussed in the literature on how to simplify the estimation of pain and suffering damages to cut administrative costs. My goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of the task of estimating the loss more than to recommend any specific path to it.

Suggested Citation

Avraham, Ronen, Estimating Pain and Suffering Damages - Paths are Many, Loss is One. (January 18, 2015). Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2555696

Ronen Avraham (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Tel Aviv
Israel

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
(512) 232-1357 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/profile.php?id=ra22397

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