The process of calculating damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases can be influenced by race and gender, leading to lower payouts for some injury victims.
Race and Gender Impacts Injury Payouts
Racial inequality and social injustice have been at the forefront of American politics for generations. In 1964, the passage of the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on race, gender, skin color, religion, and national origin. However, these issues are still impacting many parts of the law today. More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, race and gender continue to have an impact on personal injury cases in America.
Wrongful death and personal injury and cases use race and gender when calculating damages. This process justifies lower payouts to injury victims. In some cases, wage tables based on race and gender may cut an injury victim’s compensation for personal injuries by 50%.
In 2016, a Washington Post report highlighted the impact of race and gender wage tables. Race and gender-specific wage tables were used to determine that a 20-year-old African American woman would receive approximately $1.24 million in future lost wages in a personal injury case. The same tables showed that a 20-year old white male with identical education and a nearly identical injury claim would receive $2.28 million. Critics argue that race and gender-based wage tables reinforce systemic discrimination, which is often seen by lawyers who handle personal injury cases.
In large cities like Chicago, a disproportionate number of young children of color live in low-income housing that still contains high levels of lead-based paint. A known health hazard, lead can cause serious health problems with brain development and the central nervous system, leading to seizures, anemia, and kidney failure. Although organic lead was determined to be toxic and removed from paint by the EPA in 1978, property owners have little incentive to remove toxic lead paint because paying for damages is cheaper than renovation.
Filing an Illinois lawsuit with personal injury lawyers can ensure fair compensation for economic damages including medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering. If an injury results in death due to the negligent actions of another person, damages may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit to cover funeral expenses and future lost wages.