Does Age Matter in Personal Injury Lawsuits?

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Age discrimination is real, as anyone above the age of 35 who has ever interviewed for a job knows.  It is also an unfortunate fact that it is virtually impossible for judges to be completely unbiased in their decisions.  Even though the law requires them only to consider relevant facts presented during the case, judges are human beings and cannot entirely ignore their feelings. 

A positive perception of a plaintiff can make them more likely to award damages to the plaintiff, as can a sense of sadness about the plaintiff’s suffering. A young person who suffers a catastrophic injury near the beginning of his or her financially productive adult life seems to fit the definition of someone who deserves compensation for future lost income.  This is not to say that you should try to win cases by being manipulative or trying too hard to be likable, and you certainly should not try to falsify your age; judges can see through it. This post does, however, concern factors that affect how much a court is likely to award a plaintiff in a car accident injury lawsuit.


How the Plaintiff’s Age Affects a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit

Courts award damages in personal injury lawsuits for medical bills, past and future lost income, and pain and suffering.  The compensation for medical expenses varies only a little, if at all, depending on the plaintiff’s age; most medical treatments cost the same amount regardless of the patient’s age.  Future lost income is where the plaintiff’s age really makes a difference. If you were only a few years away from retirement at the time of the accident, or if you were already retired, you are unlikely to receive much compensation for future lost income.  On the other hand, if you are at the beginning of a lucrative career, you are likely to receive more, especially if you have young children who will depend on your financial support for many years.


Other Factors That Affect the Amount of the Settlement

Your age is not the only factor that affects how much the court will award you.  These are some other factors that can influence the amount of a car accident lawsuit settlement.

  • The defendant’s negligence – You cannot win the case unless you show that the defendant’s actions or failure to act constitutes negligence.  The more careless the defendant was, though, the higher the amount of damages.
  • The severity of your injuries – More severe injuries mean more compensation for medical expenses, as well as for pain and suffering.  Personal injury law operates on the principle that severe physical injuries cause more emotional distress than minor ones.
  • Expert witness testimony – When applicable, having an expert witness speak about your injuries can greatly strengthen your case.


Contact Walton Telken Injury Attorneys About Car Accident Cases

Whether you have a good chance of winning a car accident injury lawsuit depends on the facts surrounding the accident, as well as how persuasively you present them.  Contact a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Walton Telken Injury Attorneys in the St. Louis, Missouri area for a legal consultation if you are thinking of filing a lawsuit related to a car accident.

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