New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Statistical Life Expectancy Tables in a Personal Injury Case

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 in Legal Terminology, Personal Injury

Statistical life expectancy tables can influence your personal injury case in New York. When you bring a personal injury lawsuit in court, then depending on the extent of your injuries, the court will have to determine what your life expectancy is.

Monetary Compensation

Life expectancy of the victim is a deciding factor in deciding the compensation amount.

When the plaintiff is claiming that he has suffered a physical injury, because of somebody’s carelessness or wrongdoing, the plaintiff has to show that he has suffered significant amount of pain and injuries from the time of the accident up until the time of trial. The plaintiff will also have to show that he has suffered significant injuries as of the time of the trial for the foreseeable future.

Injuries that Affect the Victim for the Foreseeable Future

If there are injuries that are going to affect the victim for the foreseeable future, the plaintiff’s lawyer will have to present proof to the court of what the life expectancy of the plaintiff is. Nobody can predict with any certainty what anyone’s life expectancy is going to be.

However, there are statistical or actuarial tables that courts regularly use to identify and help the jury understand, how much longer the victim is expected to live. These tables will have typical averages based on race, gender, and other factors that go into evaluating life expectancy.

Every single person is different, and everybody has a different family history. When you bring a personal injury lawsuit, ultimately the jury is asked to award money if they believe that the wrongdoing was cause by somebody’s carelessness, and that careless caused your injuries. You will have to bring in medical experts to prove to the court that your injuries are significant and will continue for the future. The doctors will have to take the stand and explain to the jury why your injuries could go on for the future, and what problems you can expect to have.

Life Expectancy Tables Help the Jury Decide on the Compensation Amount

At the end of your personal injury case, when the jury goes back to deliberate, they will be asked specifically to award you money for your future pain and suffering. Additionally, the jury will also have to decide for how many years this amount has to be allocated.

If the injuries are going to affect you for the rest of your life then the jury needs to know what your average life expectancy is going to be. Hence, any award that they make will then be allocated for that amount of time. It could be twenty years, thirty years, or some particular period.

A Decision Based on a Strong Foundation

Therefore, life expectancy tables are useful in personal injury cases, as they help the jury determine the period they should be allocating the amount they are going to award. Without having any idea about how long the person is likely to live, it would be impossible to arrive at a compensation amount because there is no way of knowing for how many years the amount has to last or be spread out. Life expectancy tables will therefore provide some period to the jury, based on which they can decide the amount they should award to the victim.

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