Believe it or not, a person’s age can affect the value of their personal injury claim.
And while it may sound unfair, or seem like an example of “ageism,” the fact is that it remains one of many factors the insurance company will consider when determining the value of your case.
Of course, just like their valuation of your case, the insurance company’s beliefs about your age are not always correct, either.
Boulton Law Group does not believe all of the “age factors” used by an insurance company are written in stone. We have handled a number of cases on behalf of young and elderly people who received more or less because of extenuating circumstances.
However, if we strictly examine how a person’s age can possibly factor into the value of their personal injury claim, there are a number of practical reasons your case value could be tied to the year you were born.
Just Starting Out vs. Being Established
For a young person who is at the beginning of their career and starting a family, life can be expensive. Many times, this person is living paycheck to paycheck, simply trying to build their nest egg. If this person were to be in a serious accident, their injuries may extend past themselves and also affect their job, dependents, and/or spouse.
For that reason, a younger person’s case may sometimes be worth a substantial amount more than a retiree or elderly professional who is better situated financially and able to focus exclusively on their health. They may not have to worry with missing work or provide for their children and/or spouse.
Of course, there are always exceptions, and we have handled the cases of retirees and elderly accident victims who did not have financial freedom, or they were caring for their grandchildren full-time.
In those instances, an elderly person’s case may have equal value to that of a younger person who is in a similar position.
Injuries to Children
As one would expect, personal injury cases that involve a child or young person will receive a heightened level of attention and scrutiny. Largely due to their innocence, society places a premium on the value of a child’s personal injury claim.
Boulton Law Group has handled a number of cases involving children, however, the injuries are often sustained in one of the following manners:
- Passengers in car accidents.
- Wounds sustained in a dog bite attack.
- Hit by a car while riding their bike.
- Hit by a car while walking or playing in their neighborhood.
In addition to the injuries and effects the incident has on a child, parents often experience a level of grief on behalf of their young one, too. This factor should not be ignored when considering the overall value of a child’s case.
Pain & Suffering
Pain and suffering is often the most valuable portion of a personal injury claim. For this reason, some people find this age-related factor harder to accept than the others due to the fact that pain is pain, no matter the person’s age.
However, when we examine the findings of a jury, it is sometimes reported that they believe a younger person deserves a higher level of compensation because they would have to live with the effects of the injury for a longer period of time.
As mentioned earlier, this is not a steadfast rule. There are instances in which a younger person may fully recover and have no residual effects from the accident and not receive a premium on their case.
By contrast, we have handled cases for elderly victims who received maximum value for their pain and suffering due to their unique circumstances.
Age Group Behavioral Differences
When you think about the differences between young and elderly people, one of the distinctions that is often noted is “patience.” It may be said that young people do not always have the patience of their elders.
And whether you fully agree or disagree, you can bet the insurance company will have data on their side to help predict a plaintiffs’ likelihood to settle more quickly and for a smaller amount based on their behavioral tendencies.
In short, the insurance company is a business that is not as vested in personal stories as they are statistic modeling that can help decrease their overall payouts on accident claims.
For example, a 23-year-old with two jobs, a child, and bills to pay, may be looking for the quickest settlement possible, while a 65-year-old retiree with free time is in no rush to settle their claim.
Insurance companies use a similar approach when pricing auto insurance rates. Many times, a young person will pay much more per month than a person who has been driving for several years. As such, making an offer to an accident victim based on the behavioral differences between age groups is not an unheard of tactic for the insurance company.
Will Your Age Affect the Value of Your Claim?
We have discussed a number of ways age can affect the value of a personal injury claim, but the truth is no one can possibly determine what role it will play until you have consulted with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience helping injured Hoosiers of all ages. His track record of success and dedication to his clients has led him to be sought after by accident victims throughout all of Indiana.
Boulton Law Group offers all accident victims a Zero Fee Guarantee. Our promise means that you will never pay for a consultation fee, and you owe us nothing until we win your case.
To better understand how the insurance company may leverage the age-factor in your personal injury case, contact Matt direct at 317-350-2680.
If you prefer to write to us, you can use our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews each contact received at our firm.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.