Complex Issues That Can Affect Your Auto Accident Case
Numerous factors can affect your auto accident case. Some of the factors are clear-cut, while others are not apparent to everyone. Below are some-less obvious issues that may affect your auto accident case.
The insurance company may use your driving history against you, especially if your case proceeds to trial. The insurance company may use different discovery techniques to get information on your driving history. For example, the insurance company may:
- Request documents relating to your traffic tickets or canceled driving licenses
- Use depositions to get details on your past accidents
- Use integrators to learn whether you have suffered injuries in the past
Here are two ways the insurance may use the information to your disadvantage.
1. Preexisting Injury Claims
If your driving history includes an accident, the defense might claim that your injuries stem from earlier accidents. Remember, the law only requires the defense to pay for damages from the current accident. Luckily, the eggshell skull rule entitles you to compensation irrespective of your condition or fragility during the latest accident.
2. Negligence Claims
The defense might use accidents in your driving history to claim that you contributed to your current crash. Such claims seek to get the court to apply contributory negligence to your case. Contributory negligence laws deny you compensation if you are at least partially liable for your accident.
Your job, career, or profession may affect your case directly or indirectly. Below are three potential effects.
1. Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
The defendant should compensate you for lost income if your injuries affect your working ability. Lost income capacity applies to injuries that affect future ability to work. Your job affects both because it determines your wage. For example, an experienced surgeon may command more lost wages and earning capacity than a student delivering pizza part-time.
2. Standard of Care
The standard of care the government expects from drivers varies. For example, commercial truck drivers have a higher standard of care than other drivers. Thus, a court might hold that a commercial truck driver contributed to an accident that the same authorities couldn’t have held a private driver liable for.
3. Employment History
Your employment history affects your future earning capacity. A solid employment history boosts your lost income capacity claim, while gaps in your employment history weaken the claim.
Expect your age to play a role in your accident claim too. Below are three age-associated factors.
1. Claim Filing, Negotiations, and Settlement
You cannot file an auto accident claim directly if you are still a minor (that is, you are under the age of 18). You need a representative, such as a parent or a guardian, to file the claim on your behalf. The representative will also negotiate and accept or deny the settlement for you as long as they think it’s in your best interest.
As mentioned above, liability standards vary by driver. For example, personal injury law holds young children to lower standards than adults. Thus, the court might consider an adult liable for damages that it would not hold a child liable for.
3. Public Sympathy or Emotions
The public has stronger emotions for some demographics than they do for others. Public emotions are likely to affect your auto accident damages. For example, injuries affecting children attract more emotions than injuries affecting adults. Since jurors are members of the public, their emotions may affect your case. Even judges are not immune to emotions.
Carl L. Britt Jr., Attorney At Law, has decades of experience in personal injury law. We promise to use our expertise and experience to get you the auto accident compensation you deserve. Contact us for consultation on your personal injury case.