Stan's Articles

Stan Smith's articles have appeared in numerous legal and economic publications. Click here to find downloadable PDF versions of these articles.

The Costs of Using Experts on Damages

Excerpt from Chapter 2: Issues Preliminary to a Written Analysis of Economic Loss
Economic/Hedonic Damages: The Practice Book for Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys
by Michael L. Brookshire and Stan V. Smith
Fees charged by economic experts, for both written analyses of lost earning capacity and for testimony, vary widely by region of the country and, often, by the experience level of the expert.

Is an Expert on Economic Damages Necessary?

Economic/Hedonic Damages: The Practice Book for Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys
by Michael L. Brookshire and Stan V. Smith
A logical first question is whether a search for an economic expert should even be undertaken. Normally, it is the plaintiff attorney who—representing the party with the burden of producing evidence and burden of proof—first addresses this multi-dimensional question.

Measuring the Loss of Enjoyment of Life in Personal Injury Cases in Washington

Courts are increasingly recognizing the distinction between experiencing the pain and suffering of the incident itself, and the subsequent suffering from a disability caused by an injury. Legal views on the issue of loss of enjoyment of life are beginning to change, in part because of an economic model that places a dollar figure on the hedonic value of life — the pleasure or satisfaction we get from living.

Hedonic Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

Traditional measures restricted to financial damages significantly underestimate the pecuniary value of life lost in wrongful death cases. Economists distinguish between the hedonic attributes of life, which relate to the pleasure of being alive, and the monetary attributes of life.

Hedonic Damages: Measuring the Loss of Enjoyment of Life in Personal Injury Cases

Most people believe that the real reason we are alive is not only to work at home or in the marketplace, but also to experience the full value of the gift of life. Though, before testimony on hedonic damages was introduced in personal injury and wrongful death cases, juries struggled to determine fair and accurate monetary awards to survivors and/or their families.

More Suing Over Lost Joy of Life

Use of an economic model to fairly and accurately measure the value of lost enjoyment of life was once a hot topic of debate between plaintiff and defense attorneys. Coined “hedonic damages” by economist Stan V. Smith, the concept stirred great debate both for and against the use of an economic model to quantify the value of a person’s life — and especially upon the loss of enjoyment of life.

Damages for The Value of Life

More and more, courts and juries are agreeing that the value of life is not trivial. If a court finds that someone is responsible for an injury or the loss of a life, then the full value of that injury or life should be compensated. We all place a value on our lives, even if we no longer earn a living.

The Hedonic Value of Life: Economic Expert Witness Testimony in Injury and Wrongful Death

Society agrees that people have a value separate from their earning capacity. Without economic expert witness testimony to assist in hedonic damages cases, juries struggle to determine the monetary value of life with no explicit market price. Through such testimony, awards may become more predictable, leading to more settlements, less litigation, and hence, lower insurance premiums.

Stan V. Smith, Ph.D.

University of Chicago-trained Economist and Financial Consultant

Dr. Smith and his team provide high quality strategies to educate a jury in economic valuation & analysis for fair awards.

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