Private Insurance, Social Insurance, and Tort Reform: Toward a New Vision of Compensation for Illness and Injury

Kenneth S. Abraham
Lance Liebman, Columbia Law School


The United States does not have a system for compensating the victims of illness and injury; it has a set of different institutions that provide compensation. We rely on both tort law and giant programs of public and private insurance to compensate the victims of illness and injury. These institutions perform related functions, but the relationships among them are far from coherent. Indeed, the institutions sometimes work at cross-purposes, compensating some victims excessively and others not at all.