The Impact of a Reduced Life Expectancy on the Recovery of Life Care Expenses

Riccardi, Anthony H. 2005. “The Impact of a Reduced Life Expectancy on the Recovery of Life Care Expenses.”  The Earnings Analyst  7: 15-32.


For a profoundly injured plaintiff, a plaintiff’s lawyer may seek to effect a full recovery of the projected life-care expenses for the plaintiff’s lifetime, notwithstanding any opposing defense claim of a post-accident reduced life expectancy. The defense lawyer’s arguments are intended to convince a jury that a traumatic injury means the profoundly injured plaintiff has a reduced life expectancy and, therefore, is owed less in compensation. Although it is important for both sides to understand the potential impact of a defense-influenced verdict, the potential impact may not be fully understood unless the expected recovery is empirically analyzed. Assuming the verdict award for a plaintiff’s future life care is substantially influenced by the defense, these empirical findings demonstrate the impact on the expected recovery, generally, and actuarially under statutes which feature periodic payment laws, such as in medical-malpractice cases in New York.


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