Gender has a subtle influence on the amount of settlement you may receive after a car accident. Some of the effects may not even be apparent to you. Here are four ways in which your gender may affect your claim:
Gender Stereotypes During Negotiations
Real or perceived gender stereotypes may scuttle your settlement negotiations. For example, injury victims who perceive female adjusters as more "honest" and free from negotiation "games" give unnecessary leverage to the adjusters. When it comes to settlement negotiations, do your best to leave gender stereotypes at the door and approach the discussions the same irrespective of the gender of the adjuster you are dealing with.
According to insurancenewsnet.com, women are more risk averse and conflict averse than men. This means they are more likely to accept certain moderate payoffs (during out-of-court negotiations) instead of holding out for uncertain higher payoffs (which only come after triumphing in trial). This is gross generalization, but it is something to factor into your claim process if you are a woman. For example, before you accept a final settlement offer, ask yourself whether you want to accept it because you are convinced it is the right one, or you just fear losing in court.
The effect of gender isn't limited to the negotiation state of an injury claim; it may also matter when evaluating the nature of your injuries. For example, the inherent sexism in the contemporary society means that women's scars are considered more damaging than scars on men. After all, a visible scar is likely to interfere with a woman's social life more than it would for a man. This is even more so if the woman is young. As a result, a woman's scar is likely to receive a higher evaluation than a man's scar, even if both are in the same place and have the same size.
Seriousness of Injury
If you are a woman, then you are likely to sustain more serious injuries than a male driver in an accident of the same severity. This is according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The discrepancy is more evident in younger women than older ones. Serious injuries deserve more compensation than less serious ones. Of course, you have to prove the seriousness of your injuries to get the higher compensation.
Being aware of your gender differences will help you in pursuing your personal injury claim. It also underscores the need for hiring a personal injury lawyer like those at Burgess, Harrell, Mancuso, Colton, La Porta & Shea. For example, the lawyer is less likely to be influenced by gender bias during the negotiation stages. Also, experienced lawyers understand the effect of gender on accidents, and will take it into consideration while pursuing your case.