(a) Damages shall be awarded in accordance with principles of the common law. The fact finder in a malpractice action shall render any award for damages by category of loss. The court may enter a judgment that future damages be paid in whole or in part by periodic payments rather than by a lump-sum payment; the judgment must include, if necessary, other provisions to assure that funds are available as periodic payments become due. Insurance from an authorized insurer as defined in AS 21.97.900 is sufficient assurance that funds will be available. Any part of the award that is paid on a periodic basis shall be adjusted annually according to changes in the consumer price index in the community where the claimant resides. In this subsection, “future damages” includes damages for future medical treatment, care or custody, loss of future earnings, or loss of bodily function of the claimant.
(b) Except when the collateral source is a federal program that by law must seek subrogation and except death benefits paid under life insurance, a claimant may only recover damages from the defendant that exceed amounts received by the claimant as compensation for the injuries from collateral sources, whether private, group, or governmental, and whether contributory or noncontributory. Evidence of collateral sources, other than a federal program that must by law seek subrogation and the death benefit paid under life insurance, is admissible after the fact finder has rendered an award. The court may take into account the value of claimant's rights to coverage exhausted or depleted by payment of these collateral benefits by adding back a reasonable estimate of their probable value, or by earmarking and holding for possible periodic payment under (a) of this section that amount of the award that would otherwise have been deducted, to see if the impairment of claimant's rights actually takes place in the future.
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