Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The steadily increasing number of crimes in the United States and other Western countries brings about not only the destruction of property and the expenditure of money and effort to apprehend and punish the criminals, but also physical injury to thousands of innocent victims.' Although our society has established elaborate safe-guards for the rights of the accused criminal, the injured victim is left to shoulder the responsibility of paying his own medical bills and providing for his own living expenses while he is unable to work. Because of the extremely high cost of medical and hospital care, even a well insured victim may have to pay thousands of dollars out of his own pocket. Moreover, people whose economic situations force them to live in high-crime neighborhoods are more likely to become victims of criminal attacks than those who are able to live in better districts. They are also less likely to carry sufficient medical insurance.