Racial Discrepancy In Personal Injury Cases
On average, a black man in the United States earns less than a white man by 25%. And black women earn even less in comparison, with a 36% discrepancy. Sadly, statistics like these are not uncommon, despite the progressive movements towards racial equality. And you may be surprised, or not, to learn that statistics like these also are seen in settlement amounts for personal injury cases. A personal injury accident is where someone is at-fault for the injury done to another, and is held liable by law. When it’s time to calculate the value of someone’s injury or life, the law uses economic wage evaluations even with the inherent racism involved in doing so.
Yes, you heard that correctly — even when it’s time to assess the value of a person’s physical and mental injury, or their loss of life, the law utilizes charts that have personal biases that taint the compensation amount for people of color. This is why many people consult with a law firm that understands legal bias, similar to the team at Council & Associates, LLC, to protect them from unfair treatment. When a person is injured or killed because of another’s negligence, a lawsuit can be filed to hold the offender responsible monetarily. The foundation of every personal injury lawsuit is establishing a dollar amount based on what the victim went through.
Examples of personal injury accidents that may warrant filing an insurance claim or lawsuit include car accidents, slip and falls (premises liability), defective products, medical malpractice, wrongful death, animal bites or attacks, construction accidents, and more. Essentially, if someone is reckless or careless and this results in serious injury to another, then that offender may be liable for how the victim had suffered. Common injuries associated with personal injury accidents are listed as follows:
- Mental anguish
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Sprains or strains
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Knee fractures
- Burns and scarring
- Nerve damage
The people who work in the legal system have to place a dollar amount on injury and tragic loss all the time. The standard process for calculating value is reviewing wage information and insurance industry data tables, in addition to other sources related to earnings and national statistics. Such sources place people of color at a disadvantage due to unequal pay and other factors. All in all, this process and bias can cause people to not receive the fair financial compensation they deserve for an accident they were involved in due to another’s fault.
As a black personal injury lawyer offers, anyone who is concerned about the risk of racial bias as their insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is being handled is wise to speak with a legal team who understands the struggle that people of color continue to experience. A lawyer can protect their client from such mistreatment, and firmly advocate for them so that no bias is used when providing a monetary award for what they have been through.