Negligence Law and Mental Mutation

A Social Inference Model of Apportioning Fault
  • Richard L. Wiener
  • Christine C. Pritchard
Part of the Social Psychological Applications to Social Issues book series (SPAS, volume 3)


In thinking about this accident, most people are quickly drawn to the financial hardship that Mr. Evans suffered. Under most states’ workmen’s compensation laws, restitution for Mr. Evans’ injury would be forthcoming from state insurance paid for by the private contractor, Waldon Company (Dobbs, 1985, p. 742). However, workmen’s compensation statutes limit liability to fixed amounts for specific injuries and percentages of lost wages. In order to be compensated for his pain and suffering, Mr. Evans would have to show, in a court of law, that River City Mall was negligent when it failed to provide a safe working environment and therefore was at fault for the accident (Dobbs, 1985). In a case like Evans v. River City Mall, the central tasks for the trier of fact (i.e., judge or jury) are to weigh the evidence, apply the law, and attribute fault among the deserving parties.


Counterfactual Thinking River City Delivery Truck Ordinary Care Social Inference 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Wiener
    • 1
  • Christine C. Pritchard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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