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Noneconomic Damages Due to Physical and Sexual Assault: Estimates from Civil Jury Awards

Forthcoming, Forensic Science & Criminology

Posted: 25 Jan 2017  

Ted R. Miller

National Public Services Research Institute

Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics; Vanderbilt University - Law School; Resources for the Future

Delia V. Hendrie

Independent

Date Written: January 22, 2017

Abstract

This paper presents a detailed study of jury awards for compensatory damages to victims of crime. Such awards typically result when victims sue third parties who are responsible for some form of negligence such as inadequate security or alcohol over-service. We obtained nationwide data on jury awards to crime victims and examined the relationship between physical losses, medical costs, offender and victim characteristics, and the ultimate compensatory jury award. Despite the large variability in jury awards, we were able to explain 45%-50% of the variation in the natural log of jury awards for physical assault. The awards systematically vary with the severity of physical injuries sustained by the victim. Considerably more variation is found in the case of sexual assault. We use our regressions to construct estimates of noneconomic damages – the pain, suffering and reduced quality of life endured by the average victim of violent crime in the U.S.

Keywords: Jury Awards, Noneconomic Damages, Victimization

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Miller, Ted R. and Cohen, Mark A. and Hendrie, Delia V., Noneconomic Damages Due to Physical and Sexual Assault: Estimates from Civil Jury Awards (January 22, 2017). Forthcoming, Forensic Science & Criminology. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903628

Ted R. Miller (Contact Author)

National Public Services Research Institute ( email )

Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-0533 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://business.vanderbilt.edu/bio/mark-cohen/

Vanderbilt University - Law School

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-328-5000 (Phone)

Delia V. Hendrie

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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