This study analyzes auto personal injury claims across the states to estimate the frequency of claims for nonexistent or preexisting injuries. The authors develop a series of hypotheses regarding the specific claiming patterns that would signal the presence of excess claims. The authors draw on a nationally representative sample of auto-accident injury claims closed during 1987 to test these hypotheses. The results strongly support the hypotheses. The authors conclude that approximately 42% of report soft-injury claims in the dollar-threshold and tort states are for nonexistent or preexisting injuries.

Originally published in: American Law and Economics Review, v. 3, no. 2, 2001, pp. 228-250.

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