Where does the money go after an injured victim in need of medical care “wins” their case and obtains compensation?
When compensation for medical expenses is awarded by a jury, the victim does not receive that money. The health care providers receive it to pay for the medical care they gave the patient for their injury.
What would be the discriminatory impact of only paying full economic damages while limiting non-economic damages?
Lost earnings typically make up the largest part of economic damages that injured victims receive directly. If non-economic damages are limited, then the destruction of a person’s life is based solely on what that person would have been able to earn in the marketplace if they had not been injured. Therefore, the lives of low wage earners, children, seniors, and women who only work inside the home are considered to be worth less than that of people who work outside the home and are high earners. If non-economic damages are capped then a person’s worth is no more than the amount they bring home in their paycheck.
What kinds of injuries do non-economic damages compensate victims for and why are they so important?
The joy people experience in life, what makes it worth living, is not earning money to pay for the necessities of life. When a person has been seriously injured, the greatest loss they experience is the loss of the enjoyment of life, the satisfaction, the pleasure, and the utility derived from their lives, separate and apart from how they earn money. These are considered non-economic damages.
The ability to live a life free of debilitating physical or emotional problems that diminish the capacity to enjoy life or compromise a person’s sense of self-worth, dignity, and integrity is truly important and valuable. People who are suffering from physical pain and suffering not only prevents them from doing the everyday activities they used to before they were injured, but can also lead to mental anguish, anxiety, and even shame at being dependent on others.
The sufferings that seriously injured people experience every time they attempt to perform tasks that most people take for granted are considered non-economic damages and go to the essence of our quality of life. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injury.
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