The Role of Experts in Assessing Damages - A Law and Economics Account

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In this contribution we focus on the role of experts in the assessment of tort damages from an economic point of view. We distinguish two different aspects. First, we examine the role which economists might play in assessing damages in tort cases. This approach focuses on the insights that Law and Economics provides regarding the correct assessment of damages. We pay specific attention to two problematic forms of losses where economic insights may play an important role: pure economic loss and personal injury damage (both loss of income and compensation for immaterial losses due to fatal and non-fatal accidents). Second, we investigate from a Law and Economics point of view the role of experts in general (not only economists) in the assessment of damages. We discuss i.a. the question why experts may be involved in the assessment of damages, the potential problems (and the possible solutions) when using experts, and differences between party appointed experts and court appointed experts. It turns out that the economic analysis can provide a different, insightful viewpoint in some respects, such as the fact that market based mechanisms may help to provide incentives to party appointed experts to provide an accurate and objective damage assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-396
Number of pages21
JournalThe European Journal of Risk Regulation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • SAI 2008-06 BACT


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