Soft Tissue Injuries: Younger People vs. Older People & How That Impacts Who You Should Hire
For a typical car accident, one usually does not need a "seasoned trial attorney" to represent them. Hiring based on this criteria alone can actually produce a dissatisfied result. That attorney may not give your case any attention, handing off the case to an assistant. You may find that your case takes much longer than expected and unable to reach the lawyer you hired. One needs a lawyer who is well versed in pre-suit negotiations.
Why don't you need a trial lawyer? According to widely accepted industry estimates, approximately 5% of car accident cases end up in protracted litigation. Of those, only a small percentage actually end up going to trial. Most run of the mill car accidents occur at speeds under 35 miles per hour. The impact from these collisions often results in back soreness, neck soreness, and arm soreness. These injuries are ones that usually do not require surgery or involve broken bones. Even so, they can be very painful and take months to recover from.
While I am not a doctor, my experience has shown that age generally places a large role on how long it takes to recover. Younger people (under 30) generally recover from soft tissue injuries at a rate much faster than their older counterparts. It is my general understanding that the production of collagen in the body serves to heal injuries more quickly in younger people than older people who do not produce as much. If you are interested in learning more about this subject, please contact me and I will provide you with resources from medical professionals.
From my experience, younger individuals in their early 20s are typically not as injured as older people are after lower speed accidents. I have had a lot of phone calls from such individuals over the years who call to ask about how to fix their property damage but have no desire to make a bodily injury claim. If your case involves medical damages of under $3,000, you very may well be able to resolve that on your own.
In contrast, older individuals are more likely to have injuries that do not heal as quickly and that can be brought on by significantly less impact. The older you get; the more wear and tear life has given your body. An accident can pile on to your pre-existing injuries, causing symptoms that are far worse than one would think would happen after an accident. Insurance companies know this. They will use “pre-existing injury” as a defense to claim the accident was less responsible for a Plaintiff’s condition than other factors. It is ultimately left to a jury to agree or disagree. It is my job as your attorney to use the medical records and show why they are wrong.
Something not a lot of attorneys will admit is that there is no reasonable way of predicting how a jury will evaluate a soft tissue only case, no matter the age of the individual or how well the attorney performs. For this reason, it is best practice that your attorney does everything possible to reach a negotiated settlement first prior to taking your case in front of a jury.
Cases involving soft tissue injuries only, which are the vast majority of injury cases, usually settle prior to a jury trial. The expenses of litigation very well can exceed what the client may expect to get back in a recovery. Simple economics dictates that litigating some of these cases “on the principle of the matter” can be financially irresponsible. Hiring an attorney for a case like this based on their “trial credentials” is often a bad idea. Your attorney should be experienced enough in pre-litigation negotiation to obtain a reasonable settlement for you without trying the case but able to fight for you in court if the insurance company does not play fair.