Are people who claim compensation “cured by a verdict”? A longitudinal study of health outcomes with whiplash
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This study examines whether the lure of injury compensation prompts whiplash claimants to overstate their symptoms. Claim settlement is the intervention of interest, as it represents the point at which there is no further incentive to exaggerate symptoms, and neck pain at 24 months is the outcome of interest. Longitudinal data on neck pain scores and timing of claim settlement were regressed, controlling for the effect of time on recovery, to compare outcomes in claimants who had and had not settled their compensation claims. The results show clearly that removing the financial incentive to over-report symptoms has no effect on self-reported neck pain in a fault-based compensation scheme, and this finding concurs with other studies on this topic. Policy decisions to limit compensation in the belief that claimants systematically misrepresent their health status are not supported empirically. Claimants do not appear to be "cured by a verdict".
Journal of Law and Medicine
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Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified