Edited by Jennifer H. Arlen
The tort system has for centuries been the primary mechanism of compensation for victims of accidents in the Western world. Over time, however, no-fault insurance schemes—where insurance programs provide compensation on proof of loss without any need to identify another party that caused the loss or prove their fault—have replaced, in whole or in part, the tort system’s compensation mechanisms. Workers’ compensation schemes are the oldest and most widespread of such regimes. However, no-fault schemes now also provide compensation for automobile accidents in much of Canada and the United States, injuries stemming from vaccinations in a number of jurisdictions (Ridgway1999), neurological injuries for newborns in Virginia and Florida (Horowitz and Brennan1995; Bovbjerg and Sloan 1998), and medical malpractice more generally in Sweden(Danzon 1994). Additionally, New Zealand has a general no-fault accident insurance scheme that has largely replaced the tort system (Schuck 2008). Thus, no-fault schemes are increasingly seen as a credible alternative to the tort system.
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