Does a Crash Victim’s Age Affect the Value of a Claim for Compensation?

Older woman with walker entering a doorway.
Older woman with walker entering a doorway.

No matter how young you feel, it can take longer to recover from injuries as you age, especially injuries caused by a traumatic event like a car crash. For instance, injuries like broken ribs or hips could take a lot longer to heal due to a crash victim’s age.

Below, Friedman, Domiano and Smith’s experienced auto accident lawyers in Cleveland address how age can impact a victim’s recovery time, pain and suffering, and the value of an insurance claim. We also explore how the insurance company could use a victim’s age against them.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from a car crash, we may be able to guide you through the legal process. Our firm offers a free legal consultation without any upfront fees or costs, and we do not get paid unless we win.

Millions recovered for victims. Call us today for answers to your legal questions. 216-621-0070

Age is Not Just a Number With a Personal Injury Case

A car crash victim’s age can have a significant impact on an insurance claim or lawsuit. Here are a few of the main reasons why:

  • Age can prolong recovery from an injury
  • Some people may be more likely to settle quickly
  • Younger injury victims tend to have a longer life expectancy
  • Insurers may find younger crash victims less believable than older victims
  • People who are more established in their lives and careers can have greater economic losses after a personal injury

Recovery Time and Medical Needs

It could take older adults more time than younger adults, teenagers or children to recover from injuries. Their bodies may not be as resilient due to changes in bone density, muscle mass and overall physical strength. As people age, they could develop a variety of medical issues that contribute to a longer recovery time.

A prolonged recovery period may increase the value of the victim’s claim, as he or she may be more likely to accrue more medical expenses. For example, older adults may need more physical therapy or rehabilitation than younger victims. A child might recover from a broken bone in a few weeks while an adult may need six or more, depending on the severity of the injury.

Generally, younger people can recover from injuries more quickly. However, there are other factors that could affect recovery time. For instance, a younger person who was already suffering from a chronic condition may take longer to recover from a car crash compared to an older adult who was in good health.

Life Expectancy

When someone suffers a permanent or long-term injury, they are going to need ongoing medical care. They are also likely to have other damages, such as pain and suffering and lost earning capacity.

However, some permanent injuries are worth more than others because of things like life expectancy. In other words, if you suffer a permanent injury in your 20s, you are probably going to need more compensation than someone in his or her 50s or 60s.

That said, there are many factors in life expectancy, such as the person’s overall health, existence of other medical conditions, genetic factors and more.  

Economic Losses

Your age can affect the value of the economic losses suffered, such as lost wages and loss of earning capacity. This is because people tend to earn more money as they get older. If an older adult suffers a serious injury that limits his or her ability to work, his or her lost earning capacity is likely to be worth a lot more than a younger person’s.

One way to think about it is that an older injury victim is likely to be more established in his or her career.

However, younger injured victims could still have more economic losses because of the time they have in front of them. Someone who is closer to retirement may have fewer chances of getting bonuses or promotions.

Pain and Suffering Damages

Younger victims may have to deal with decades of pain and suffering after a car crash. However, a severe injury could also lower the quality of life of an older individual, especially one getting closer to retirement.

The value of emotional pain and suffering could be different for everyone, depending on their lifestyle. For example, if someone was very athletic and is no longer able to do those activities, his or her claim is probably going to be worth more than someone who is less active.

How the Insurance Company May Use Age Against You

The insurance company is looking for any reason to underpay your claim. There are a variety of ways they may try to hold the victim’s age against him or her to underpay or even deny the claim.

Offering Less Compensation to a Younger Victim

Generally, younger people are more impatient compared to older people. Insurers are probably going to make this assumption and make a lowball offer to younger crash victims based on this assumption. It might not work, but insurance companies are at least going to try.

If this tactic does not work, insurers have many other tactics they can try to avoid paying out full compensation to crash victims.

Despite biases based on age, insurers may still try to lowball older crash victims. That is why injured victims should work with an experienced lawyer, no matter their age.

Blaming Victims Based on Their Age

Younger drivers tend to cause a lot of crashes as they may be more likely to exercise poor judgment or engage in reckless behavior. Insurance companies may act on this assumption by blaming a younger driver for the crash.  

However, insurance companies could also blame older drivers, such as for slower reaction time or impaired vision.  

Call Friedman, Domiano & Smith for Legal Help Following an Ohio Car Crash

Our law firm is committed to helping injured victims get the compensation that they need to recover. Friedman, Domiano and Smith has been fighting for crash victims for decades, obtaining millions on their behalf.

Our lawyers are here to help without any upfront costs or fees. We do not get paid unless you win compensation.

We are ready to take your call: 216-621-0070


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