Two people can get markedly different auto accident compensations even if they have similar injuries. The discrepancies occur because the factors that affect compensation figures play out differently for different cases. Here are some of the factors and why they lead to different compensations.
- The strength of your witness testimony can determine:
- How believable your case is
- How sympathetic the judge or jury is to your case
- How furious the judge or jury is with the defendant
All these factors will impact how much you can get as your auto accident compensation. For example, an eye witness who saw the defendant on the phone just before the crash can bolster up your case. Such a witness's testimony may see you pocket a bigger compensation than you would get without the testimony.
Your credibility is not how honest you are, but how honest and believable other people think you are. Some of the things that influence your credibility include:
- The consistency of your statements
- Your court demeanor
- Independent corroboration of your statements
- Presence or absence of outside influence of your testimony
The more credible you are, the more likely you are to get good compensation. For example, a plaintiff who makes slightly different statements one to the police and one to the insurance adjuster - may come off as not credible.
The credibility of the defendant also matters; a credible defendant will weaken your case. The defendant will do everything to avoid liability or minimize your damages. The more the court or jury believes the defendant, the more the defendant will succeed in their mission.
Age plays an important role in accident compensation because age can directly influence some of your losses. Given the same life expectancy, a younger person has to suffer more years of disability than an older person. Also, a young plaintiff's loss of future earnings is more than an older plaintiff's loss if other factors are constant.
Therefore, two people of different ages may receive different compensations even if they have similar injuries. A greater age difference results in a greater compensation discrepancy.
The lifestyle you lead determines how much an accident can disrupt your life. Consider these examples:
- Two plaintiffs break their leg; one rides bikes as a hobby while the other plays chess as a hobby. The accident will interfere with the first plaintiff's life more than the second plaintiff.
- One plaintiff has minor kids they need to take care of while another plaintiff only has adult children who can take care of themselves. In this case, the first plaintiff requires more compensation to help them take care of the kids.
- One plaintiff is a stay-at-home parent while the other one has a job outside the home. The first plaintiff may require compensation to help them take care of the domestic chores.
Since two people are unlikely to have perfectly similar lifestyles, lifestyle will always contribute to a discrepancy in compensation for accident victims with similar injuries.
Cause of Accident
Lastly, the exact actions or inactions of the defendant that caused the injury will also come under scrutiny. The court will want to know whether the defendant's actions were negligent, grossly negligent, or even intentional. If the court determines that the defendant's actions constitute more than ordinary negligence, then the court may order the defendant to pay punitive damages.
Apart from punitive damages, a jury or judge may also award you high compensation if the defendant in your case caused you intentional injuries. Therefore, even with similar injuries, the actions of the defendant may result in different compensation figures for two plaintiffs.
Don't expect similar compensation to another plaintiff just because you have similar injuries. At Palmetto Injury Lawyers LLC, our lawyers will evaluate and value your case so we can advise you on the best figure to pursue. We will also use our legal skills and experience to maximize your compensation. Contact us today for an evaluation of your accident case.