Procedural justice and quality of life in compensation processes

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Background: There is considerable evidence that being involved in compensation processes has a negative impact on claimants' health. Previous studies suggested that this negative effect is caused by a stressful compensation process: claimants suffered from a lack of communication, a lack of information, and feelings of distrust. However, these rather qualitative findings have not been quantitatively investigated yet. This observational study aimed to fill this gap of knowledge, investigating the claimants' perceived fairness of the compensation process, the provided information, and the interaction with lawyers and insurance companies, in relation to the claimants' quality of life. Method: Participants were individuals injured in traffic accidents, older than 18 years, who were involved in a compensation process in the Netherlands. They were recruited by three claims settlement offices. Outcome measures were procedural, interactional, and informational justice, and quality of life. Results: Participants (n = 176) perceived the interaction with lawyers to be fairer than the interaction with insurance companies (p <.001). The length of hospital stay was positively associated with procedural justice (β =.31, p <.001). Having trunk/back injury was negatively related to procedural justice (β = -.25, p =.001). Whiplash injury and length of time involved in the claim process were not associated with any of the justice scales. Finally, procedural justice was found to be positively correlated with quality of life (r
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1431-1436
Number of pages16
JournalInjury. International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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