The weight of a person can impact both the injuries sustained and the insurance settlement available to the injured party. Vehicles today have safety features designed to protect people 163 lbs and under. As a result, individuals weighing more than 163 lbs, are at greater risk for sustaining more severe injuries from an auto accident.
The plaintiff’s weight can impact how much insurance settlement a court will award if the case goes into litigation. The jury will award a settlement amount in proportion to the significance and impact they believe the injury caused to the plaintiff.
The Injury In Question
The origin of neck, back, or knee injuries may come into question in court. The defense may try and argue that these injuries existed prior to the accident and that the accident only aggravated these conditions. They may also claim that the injured party is making fraudulent claims, in order to receive undeserved compensation for pre-existing injuries. Or, they may argue that the weight of the plaintiff itself, caused, or greatly contributed to the injuries in question. These arguments may cause significant damage to the plaintiff’s case. However, if the injury is acute, the weight of the plaintiff will not impact their case as greatly.
Limitations Regarding Daily Activities
If the plaintiff is overweight, the attorney may have great difficulty proving that the accident injuries significantly impacted their daily routine. The court will assume that prior to the accident, the defendant lived a sedentary lifestyle. An attorney must prove that the injuries impacted the plaintiff’s life in a significant and meaningful way. The presumptions made by the court, regarding lifestyle, will make it harder for the attorney to prove that the injuries significantly impacted the injured party’s daily life and severely limited daily activity.
If Weight Gain Occurred as a Result of an Auto Accident
Weight may be gained after an accident for several reasons. For example, weight gain may result from physical limitations, stress eating, adaptive lifestyle changes, and/or certain medications. Compensation can be requested for weight gain in these cases if the injured party can prove that the weight gain was directly related to their auto accident.
How Injuries Like Whiplash Can Cause Weight Gain
Whiplash is a common injury sustained in auto accidents. This injury occurs when the head is forced back and forth in a rapid motion. This motion strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck resulting in injury to the neck and spine. The Thyroid, an organ located in the neck, may also sustain damage as a result of this injury. This organ aids in weight management; if damaged, the Thyroid will become sluggish, resulting in weight gain and chronic exhaustion.
After an auto accident, seek immediate medical attention; doctors will properly diagnose and care for any injuries. Seeking treatment as soon as possible will also limit the injuries that may further develop.