If you or someone close to you has suffered financial harm due to discrimination, there are various ways to seek compensation. Damages such as lost earnings, pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage and more may all be eligible for recovery.
If you are contemplating filing a civil rights lawsuit, having an experienced attorney on your side is paramount.
Loss of Earnings
In addition to physical and psychological harm that victims of racism may endure, they also often endure financial damages as a result of lost wages, pain and suffering, or medical expenses.
Thankfully, the law exists to safeguard discrimination victims and put them in a similar economic position as if the discrimination never took place – this is known as compensatory damages.
Compensation for discrimination victims is calculated based on the amount of money lost as a result of the unlawful act. In some cases, damages may include wages and benefits received by the victim as well as future earning capacity.
These amounts are calculated using wage tables that take into account the current average wage for the job in which the victim was employed. These wage tables allow forensic economists to ascertain how much more someone might have earned had they not experienced discriminatory acts.
The amount of lost wages varies significantly among different races and ethnicities. Generally, the more educated the victim is and their likelihood that they will gain employment at a higher-paying job in the future, the larger the amount in lost wages.
Forensic economists typically use the current average wage of the job in which a victim was employed to estimate the value of future lost earnings. This provides the basis for awarding compensation to victims of racial discrimination.
However, a jury may award less in damages if it determines that the victim made reasonable attempts to obtain employment. For instance, in Waring v. Sunrise Yonkers SL, the plaintiff demonstrated his GED and demonstrated his desire to find work.
Studies have been done to demonstrate the detrimental effects of racial discrimination. These investigations reveal that a substantial number of people, particularly Black and Hispanic workers, experience discrimination at their jobs – in fact, more than two out of every five Black, brown or minority-ethnic employees report experiencing this type of treatment; this rate far surpasses that experienced by White employees.
Pain and Suffering
If you are the victim of racial discrimination, you may feel the brunt of its effects – physical, emotional, and psychological harm.
People who experience racial trauma also have an increased likelihood of developing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coping with racism can be especially difficult if it occurs simultaneously with other problems in one’s life.
No matter who you are or your community is, there are ways to prevent and manage racism’s effects. These include discussing your experiences openly with supportive friends and family members, as well as taking care of yourself through self-care practices.
You may seek assistance from your doctor, therapist, or counselor. These professionals can provide insight into how racial trauma may impact both mental and physical wellbeing and offer suggestions on how best to cope.
Another way to protect yourself from racial trauma is by maintaining a positive outlook, which makes it easier to handle difficult situations. Furthermore, surrounding yourself with supportive role models and mentors can improve your sense of self-worth and confidence levels.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the pain of racial trauma, reach out for support. Talking with a mental health professional or joining an affinity group that addresses race-related issues may provide space and time for healing.
One way to limit your exposure to racist or sexist content is by setting boundaries around your media consumption. For instance, you could set a time limit on how long you spend on social media each day and decide how best to utilize that time.
Making a plan for how you will cope with racial trauma can be extremely helpful. This might involve finding an outlet to express your experiences, naming emotions, recognizing triggers, and developing healthy coping techniques. Furthermore, setting goals that reflect values such as family, community, and equity will be beneficial.
People who experience discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), religion, disability or genetic information may be eligible for financial damages. This compensation could cover out-of-pocket expenses as well as emotional harm. Furthermore, these damages could also cover loss of enjoyment of life.
Healthcare has a long and troubled history in both the United States and beyond, dating back to slavery’s start. Unfortunately, racism in healthcare still prevails today.
For instance, during the 19th century in America, doctors made false claims about African Americans’ speed of healing, stronger immune systems and superior pain tolerance compared to white patients. This discrimination remains present today and continues to cause medical issues in many communities.
In addition to medical costs, people affected by racism may struggle with finding work or earning income. They could lose their housing, health insurance coverage, or have a diminished opportunity for education that could otherwise help them progress.
That means they cannot support their families and children, potentially necessitating them to rely on public assistance if discrimination has been perpetrated at work.
Discrimination against a person can have physical, psychological and social repercussions for those affected; however the most devastating harm often stems from its economic ramifications. Victims of racism often end up with less-than-optimal living conditions such as substandard schools, inadequate transportation services, less affordable housing options and low-paying jobs.
These economic issues can be costly and have a devastating effect on an individual’s mental wellbeing. Furthermore, they may prove challenging to resolve.
Finally, racism can negatively impact someone’s treatment in the workplace or by police officers. This may cause victims to experience depression, which in turn has an adverse effect on both mental and physical health.
Though race remains an important issue to address, many obstacles still stand in our way. Our nation often feels uneasy confronting racism; many people do not prioritize it; and collecting accurate racial and ethnic data to measure progress is challenging.
Though the medical and psychological tolls associated with racism are immense, victims may also sustain significant property damage as a result of an incident or crime due to prejudice. This could include damage done to one’s home, vehicle, personal belongings and loss of income due to the incident as well as additional insurance deductibles for those who have taken out policies to cover their losses.
One common example is personal injury settlements and court awards. In this scenario, the ideal outcome would be that you receive your fair share of compensation for the resulting damages; however, in the worst case scenario, you are not compensated at all and must pay out-of-pocket for your losses.
Aside from compensatory damages, victims of discrimination may also receive punitive damages in the form of monetary penalties. These can range anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the specifics and merits of a case.
Punitive awards are often granted when employers demonstrate willful or reckless disregard for the rights of protected groups of citizens, which constitutes a clear violation of both state and federal law.
In an effort to guarantee equal justice for all, California passed S.B. 41 in November 2019, which was the first law of its kind in America that prohibits reducing victim compensation based on race, gender or ethnicity. Nevertheless, much work remains to be done; the best way to combat this trend is to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible after you have been victimized by bias incident or crime.