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5 J. Legal Econ. 23 (1995)
Do We Double Count Damages in Severe Personal Injury Cases

handle is hein.journals/jole5 and id is 135 raw text is: Frank D. Tinari*

Do We Double Count Damages in
Severe Personal Injury Cases?1

n tort litigation involving
persons who have sus-
tained catastrophic injury,
claimed damages can easily mount
into the millions of dollars. Com-
ponents of loss to the injured party
and family members may include
lost net earnings and benefits, the
pecuniary value of the plaintiffs
loss of his or her former ability to
perform household services, the
loss of advice and counseling serv-
ices to family members (if the
plaintiff has suffered mental im-
pairment), the loss of companion-
ship services (if the impairment
interferes with the plaintiff's ability
to spend time with family mem-
bers) and the costs of lifetime medi-
cal care. Often, the last component

is so large that the others appear
relatively minor in magnitude. The
underlying rationale in these cases
is to compensate victims in such a
way as to provide replacement
funds sufficient to reinstate their
former economic status. Gener-
ally, tort law is aimed at attempting
to make whole the prior economic
condition of victims of wrongful
Except for lifetime medical
care, these losses are typically
treated in accordance with the fol-
lowing expression:
L= LE+LH+LC+LG             (1)
where L is the total estimated pecu-
niary loss, consisting of the present
pecuniary value of the losses of E,
net earnings; H, household serv-
ices; C, companionship services;
and G, guidance, advice and coun-

*Frank D. Tinari, Professor of Economics, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New

Tinari: Do We Double Count Damages in Severe
Personal Injury Cases?

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