University Of Tasmania
whole_HardySamanthaJ2006_thesis.pdf (12.77 MB)

The legal injury narrative : personal injury litigation and melodrama

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posted on 2023-05-26, 19:53 authored by Hardy, SJ
This thesis attempts to explain why personal injury plaintiffs tend to have poorer health outcomes than non-litigants with similar injuries. It examines the role that injured plaintiffs have to play in the litigation. The thesis develops the concept of the \legal injury narrative\" and argues that plaintiffs are required to tell their individual stories in accordance with this master narrative in order to be successful in their claims. The legal injury narrative is analysed through the genre of melodrama. This reveals that the role injured plaintiffs are required to play in the narrative is a passive mute and dependent one and this has negative ramifications for their health outcomes. Examining the legal injury narrative in this way also reveals some concerning consequences for society as a whole particularly the way in which society responds to suffering and how normative assumptions in the law can perpetuate existings power hierarchies and gender stereotypes. Mediation is considered as a possible alternative to litigation. It seems particularly useful as a way of supporting injured people and enabling them to tell their stories according to a tragic genre which it is argued is more conducive to improved health outcomes. In particular it is argued that mediation as a future directed procedure is preferable to the legal injury narrative's current focus on past events and restoring the status quo."


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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references. Ch. 1. Background -- Ch. 2. Melodrama -- Ch. 3. The legal injury narrative -- Ch. 4. Melodramatic blame -- Ch. 5. The defendant role -- Ch. 6. The plaintiff role -- Ch. 7. Recognition of virtue -- Ch. 8. The judge, proof, and reward -- Ch. 9. Implications and conclusions

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