Does the Age of the Victim Matter in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

In many situations, when someone is involved in an accident, it is not just the injury victim who is affected. While it may only be one person who is hurt in a car accident, bicycle accident, dog bite, or slip and fall, their entire family may be impacted, too. Spouses, children, parents and others who rely on the injured person may also experience a change in their lives. As a result, a single accident may result in several personal injury lawsuits.

According to Florida law, a victim’s loved ones (usually their spouse) and the victim will have unique damages to claim against the person who was the cause of the accident. Keep in mind, insurance defense lawyers and insurance adjusters are ready to address these types of personal injury claims, which is why you need a Orlando personal injury lawyer helping you along the way. A Florida personal injury attorney can help you understand the laws in Florida.

How Age Factors into a Personal Injury Claim

Now you have to consider the age of a person. The age of an injured individual, as well as all the related claimants, are going to be under consideration by the insurance company as they evaluate factors such as the person’s loss of earning capacity, permanent damages, pain and suffering and more. In many cases, the defense is going to use a person’s age to try and reduce the value of the claim. They will attempt to do this by asking questions such as, “How many years is the victim expected to work?” and “What is their actual life expectancy based on actuarial tables?”

Additionally, the victim’s age is going to be used and argued by the defendant or the insurance company as being a mitigating factor. Keep in mind, age can also work the other way. If the individual is young and they may have many years of pain and suffering ahead of them, it will work in their favor. A child who has suffered an injury can expect to receive more whether in a pretrial settlement or should they win at trial than an adult whether that injury is a birth injury, or in a car accident where the other driver is at fault.

When it comes to settlements, a defendant or insurance company may make an offer before a trial is ever reached. The acceptance of an offer, as well as that offer could differ depending on the age of the plaintiff.

For example, a married man over 30 may carry more consideration due to him being the head of a household, whether or not he is the sole provider. It can be argued that a person this age is just starting to build a career, working towards retirement, and raising children that must be provided for. A person this age may be more willing to accept a pre-court settlement due to the time involved in court case. IF that offer isn’t enough however, if the person is unable to work and provide for their family, they may be motivated to go to court in hopes of a larger settlement.

A person over 50 may also be considered differently. This person may be an empty nester; however, may be nearing retirement and planning for that. This person is probably well established in their career. For someone this age, they may be motivated to get everything they can from the defendant or the insurance company. They will probably be much more willing to go to court or negotiate a larger settlement.

For those over 70, the opportunity to add to their retirement account may mean they will be willing to accept the first settlement that comes along. They may have nothing more than social security, or another government subsidy such as SNAP to live on. These factors alone could allow the defendant or the insurance company to offer a settlement less than would be offered to a younger person with the belief that a person over 70 will be more willing to accept an offer that would still be much more than they have now. Even if the circumstances warrant more.

The idea of a court case with the resulting stress may dissuade them from seeking a court hearing, or reaching out to a personal injury attorney.

The Age Factor: When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

For many plaintiffs, the main question they will have is when they should or should not settle with the insurance company. The majority of personal injury cases will settle. In fact, more than 90 percent of all accident claims wind up reaching a settlement after they are taken to trial.

The motivation to settle pre-litigation may come from the age of the plaintiff, the degree of injuries, whether they have permanent or temporary injuries,   and the strength, or weakness of the case. This is among the many reasons a consultation with a personal injury attorney is wise, and necessary decision.

If you are facing a personal injury issue, it is a good idea to hire an experienced personal injury attorney here in Florida right away. They can review the facts of your case to help you reach a fair settlement that you are happy with and that compensates you sufficiently for the injuries and losses you have suffered. An experienced personal injury attorney is not just here to help find a settlement, but is also ready to go to court and fight for you.

Learn more about personal injury lawsuits and why to hire an attorney by contacting the attorneys at The Badgley Law Group in Orlando by calling 407-781-0420. Being informed and having proper legal representation by the best lawyer for personal injuries whether from car accidents, bicycle accidents, a dog bite, or medical malpractice will help you get the results you need and deserve. We have the experience to get you what you deserve, as well as stand ready to fight in court for the justice you seek.

Additional Reading:

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