Exploring the Domain of Accident Law: Taking the Facts Seriously

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Oxford University Press, Jan 4, 1996 - Law - 464 pages
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In the mid 1980s, there was a crisis in the availability, affordability, and adequacy of liability insurance in the United States and Canada. Mass tort claims such as the asbestos, DES, and Agent Orange litigation generated widespread public attention, and the tort system came to assume a heightened prominence in American life. While some scholars debate whether or not any such crisis still exists, there has been an increasing political, judicial and academic questioning of the goals and future of the tort system. Exploring the Domain of Tort Law reviews the evidence on the efficacy of the tort system and its alternatives. By looking at empirical evidence in five major categories of accidents--automobile, medical malpractice, product-related accidents, environmental injuries, and workplace injuries--the authors evaluate the degree to which the tort system conforms to three normative goals: deterrence, corrective justice, and distributive justice. In each case, the authors review the deterrence and compensatory properties of the tort system, and then review parallel bodies of evidence on regulatory, penal, and compensatory alternatives. Most of the academic literature on the tort system has traditionally been doctrinal or, in recent years, highly theoretical. Very little of this literature provides an in-depth consideration of how the system works, and whether or not there are any feasible alternatives. Exploring the Domain of Tort Law contributes valuable new evidence to the tort law reform debate. It will be of interest to academic lawyers and economists, policy analysts, policy professionals in government and research organizations, and all those affected by tort law reform.
 

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Contents

Claims Initiation
213
Penal and Regulatory Alternatives to the Tort System
214
TaxSubsidy Instruments
232
Criminal Sanctions
236
Summary
239
NoFault Compensatory Alternatives for Medical Accidents
240
Drug Injury Compensation Schemes
243
Summary
244

Notes
13
AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS
15
Output Analysis
22
Compensation
26
Eligibility
28
Benefits
30
Disposition
34
Financing
38
Summary
39
Output Analysis
40
Summary
42
Sanctions
43
Licensing
48
Rewards
50
PostAccident Injury Care
52
Summary
53
NoFault Compensatory Alternatives for Automobile Accidents
54
Input Analysis
55
Output Analysis
56
Summary
62
MEDICAL ACCIDENTS
95
Deterrence
96
Output Analysis
104
Compensation
112
Benefit Levels
113
Eligibility Criteria
114
Claims Disposition
115
Administrative Costs
116
Summary
117
Input Analysis
118
Output Analysis
120
Summary
122
Input Analysis
123
Output Analysis
125
Summary
135
NoFault Compensatory Alternatives for Medical Accidents
136
Output Analysis
144
Summary
146
Notes
147
PRODUCTRELATED ACCIDENTS
188
Deterrence
189
Output Analysis
197
Summary
204
Compensation
205
Input Analysis
206
Output Analysis
207
Summary
211
Corrective Justice
212
Notes
245
ENVIRONMENTAL INJURIES
265
Input Analysis
266
Output Analysis
279
Compensation
290
Output Analysis
292
Summary
296
Corrective Justice
297
Output Analysis
298
Summary
299
General Criminal Sanctions
323
Information Policies
324
Charges and Marketable Permits
325
Subsidies
327
Summary
328
Notes
331
WORKPLACE INJURIES
346
Input Analysis
347
Output Analysis
352
Compensation
355
Output Analysis
356
Corrective Justice
357
Output Analysis
359
Summary
361
Penal and Regulatory Alternatives to the Tort System
362
Tax or Price Instruments
378
General Criminal Sanctions
382
Information Policies
383
Summary
385
NoFault Compensatory Alternatives for Workplace Injuries
387
Black Lung
394
Summary
395
Notes
396
SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS
412
Empirical Summary
414
Compensation
421
Corrective Justice
424
Policy Implications
427
Medical Accidents
428
ProductRelated Accidents
429
Environmental Injuries
430
Workplace Injuries
431
General or Residual Compensation Schemes
432
Conclusion
436
Notes
438
INDEX
441
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Donald Dewees is Professor of Economics and Law, and Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto. His teaching and research are in the areas of environmental economics, environmental law, and law and economics generally. His research has investigated economic issues related to environmental pollution policies. David Duff is a lawyer with the Toronto law firm of Stikeman, Elliott. He has published articles dealing with personal injuries, family law, and taxation, and is interested in the theory and practice of distributive justice. Michael J. Trebilcock is Professor of Law and Director of the Law and Economics Program at the University of Toronto. He has published widely in the areas of corporate and commercial law, contract law, tort law, international trade law, anti-trust law, and government regulation.

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