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Article
June 10, 1916

Hysteria and Accident Compensation. Nature of Hysteria and the Lesson of the Post-Litigation Results.

JAMA. 1916;LXVI(24):1883. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580500061028

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Abstract

This book presents the subject of "accident hysteria," in as condensed and readable a form as possible, for legislators, lawyers and sociologists. "Railway spine" came with the advent of the railroad, and has frequently appeared in personal injury litigation. According to the author, after an accident there often develop cases of "traumatic hysteria" or, as the author tersely puts it, "litigation hysteria." This is a condition which preexists in the individual. It is not the same as hysteria caused by a bona fide injury or fright. It is produced by the psychology of compensation. The author's experience has shown that these imaginary ills take flight with the settlement of the case. The same situation is to be found under the workmen's compensation acts. Usually these laws have made no adequate provision for separating the spurious from the real. A detailed examination of the patient made by an impartial scientific specialist

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