This case involves a car that was rear-ended by a commercial vehicle. The passenger was thrown forward and her chest struck the dashboard of the car in which she was riding. In the weeks following the accident, she was diagnosed with cardiac complications. It was alleged that the rear-end collision caused significant heart damage to the plaintiff, including contusion, atrial fibrillation, hypotension, the life-long need for medication, the need for repeated cardioversion, and the need for vigilant monitoring of cardiac condition. An actuarial expert was sought to speak to how this collision may have impacted the passenger’s life expectancy.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How will the cardiac conditions sustained affect the plaintiff's life expectancy?
- 2. What considerations are taken into account by actuaries based on this occurrence and these conditions?
Expert Witness Response E-007171
I am a professor of actuarial science and have taught classes in actuarial science for 10+ years. I am extensively published in the areas of life insurance and quantitative risk management, and I serve on several editorial boards. From my research and consulting work, I have experience with mortality models and life expectancy estimation. A cardiac condition can have a negative effect on the individual’s life expectancy but the precise effects depend on the specific condition. Actuaries specializing on evaluating life insurance would consider such a condition in their underwriting that determines what survival/mortality probabilities to use. There are specialized life expectancy providers that provide personalized life expectancy evaluations for certain medical conditions. I have access to the data-sets of two large underwriters. Considering their deductions for certain conditions, it is possible to provide a more accurate answer for the individual in view based on the characteristics. I have been an expert for a case that relates to the secondary life insurance market (so-called life settlements). For evaluating such life settlements, the individualized life expediencies (accounting for medical conditions and personal characteristics) are also of key importance.