Involvement in a car accident
is never entertaining. The process afterward can be draining and irritating, especially if you are faced with uncooperative drivers and insurance agents. Generally, those who have been hit by negligent drivers want to get the ordeal over with as quickly possible, but unfortunately, legal action takes time. As a victim of a car accident, you should pursue your rightful compensation from the liable party. In cases involving elderly drivers, you should retain the services of a skilled attorney from the Downtown LA Law Group to ensure that you earn what you deserve.
Why Do Elderly Drivers Get Into More Accidents?
Elderly drivers are likely to get into more car accidents than those who are younger than them for numerous reasons. However, it should be noted that, statistically, these drivers are involved in fewer crashes – although that number is partially skewed because there are not as many elderly drivers on the road as there are those in the 18 to 64 age bracket. Regardless, elderly drivers may crash due to the following reasons:
The study finds, that drivers 65 and older are 16 percent likelier than adult drivers (those 25 – 64 years old) to cause an accident, and they pose much less risk to the public than do drivers under 25, who are 188 percent likelier than adult drivers to cause an accident. However, older drivers are highly vulnerable to fatal injury in a crash. These findings offer little support for stricter licensing policies targeting older drivers but offer some support for policies to improve driver safety for seniors.
- Vision issues: Poor eyesight may be present in drivers of all ages, with few people getting the contacts or glasses they need to correct their vision. However, as individuals age, they become more susceptible to various eye troubles, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Even conditions like diabetes can contribute to vision problems. The inability to see traffic lights change, objects in the road, and other drivers’ intentions can create numerous issues.
- Mobility problems: Elderly drivers who have had complications with mobility, such as bad hips, weak legs, stiff joints in the arms, and more, may be at higher risk of accidents. They will find it more difficult to fully and adequately operate the vehicle. For example, an older man with a stiff or unresponsive shoulder may be unable to turn the wheel fast enough or far enough to avoid a crash.
- Lack of physical reaction time: Driving always takes places at fairly moderate speeds, and it is a necessity that drivers be able to react to sudden changes and hazards in the road, such as blown tires, animals, children, stopped traffic, and more. Elderly drivers whose reaction times have dwindled can get into many more crashes than younger individuals. For instance, when backing out of a driveway, elderly drivers may not pay attention to oncoming traffic or be able to react to a passing car.
- Mental impairment: Some elderly drivers remain adamant that they are capable of driving, but mental issues may arise and make it a positively dangerous activity. Those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental impairments may have an episode while behind the wheel. This can result in disastrous consequences.
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All of these issues can lead to accidents and numerous injured parties. Some of the causes of the crashes can be found below.
- Running red lights
- Failing to stop or yield
- Ignoring right of way laws
- Mistakenly accelerating or braking
- Riding in the wrong lane or driving on the wrong side of the road
- Failing to signal
Elderly Drivers Cause More Deadly Crashes than Teens
Compared with drivers ages 20-69, fewer people 70 and older are licensed to drive, and they drive fewer miles. However, older people now keep their licenses longer and make up a bigger proportion of the population than in past years as baby boomers age. The number of licensed drivers 70 and older increased 48 percent between 1997 and 2016. The proportion of the 70-and-older population with licenses went from 73 percent in 1997 to 81 percent in 2016.
If you have been struck by an elderly driver, you should reach out to our law firm for more assistance. We will do all we can to help you secure a fair settlement from the insurance agency.
How To Prove Negligence Of An Elderly Driver
If you wish to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your damages stemming from a car accident, you must be able to show that the other driver was negligent in his actions. You must prove these four points for your claim to be successful:
- You were owed a duty of care
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach resulted in an accident
- The accident led to physical injuries
The last point regarding injuries is one of the most important aspects of a negligence-based claim. If you were not hurt in the crash, you would be unable to sue for personal injury damages, and thus, would not be able to receive compensation for medical bills or pain and suffering. You would only be able to have your lost wages and property damage compensated.
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Elderly Driver Accident Statistics
In 2015, more than 6,800 older adults were killed and more than 260,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries. This amounts to 19 older adults killed and 712 injured in crashes on average every day.
It will be in your best interest to have your attorney prove that there was a problem with the elderly driver, whether with poor eyesight or a history of similar accidents. Mistakes are more likely to be glossed over, but repeat offenses can result in closer scrutinizing and heavier damages. Also, if an elderly driver is aware of certain issues with himself but does not take any steps to correct them, he can be viewed as willingly placing others in danger while on the road.
Insurance Coverage For Elderly Drivers
Some elderly drivers are involved in numerous accidents over a short span of time. This can be due to a deteriorating health condition, a defect with the car that is not addressed or fixed, or an inability to safely drive anymore. As a result, insurance companies may balk at the prospect of covering these drivers, and they will not provide coverage because of the risk involved. At times, the drivers are left with no choice but to operate their vehicles with no insurance.
This can be extremely dangerous. If an accident occurs, you will not have a reliable way of securing compensation if the elderly driver has no insurance coverage. You may be able to file a claim with your own provider if you are eligible for uninsured motorist coverage, but it will likely be a long battle.
How do age-related changes affect driving ability?
Specific physical, cognitive and visual abilities may decline with advancing age. However, there are large individual differences in the onset and degree of functional impairments, so age alone is not sufficient information to judge driving ability.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
The value of your accident claim with an elderly driver will be determined according to a few factors. The insurance agent responsible for handling your claim will consider the extent of your injuries and how impactful they were on your life and career. If the damages were particularly severe, your case may be worth a lot more than if you were not badly hurt at all Your age will also play a role, and other potential damages, such as property damage, will be weighed as well.
In order to secure the maximum compensation for your accident claim, you should enlist the services of a skilled attorney with experience in lawsuits against elderly drivers. Our team of attorneys will be able to negotiate a fair deal with the insurance agency. We will make sure that you are not mistreated or given a low amount that would not cover anything.
Call (888) 649-7166 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Compensation From A Car Accident Lawsuit
As a victim of a car crash, you should receive the maximum compensation available, especially if the elderly driver were particularly negligent and you had no part in the accident at all except as an innocent bystander. We will strive to win you coverage for the following:
- Medical expenses from the past and future for surgery costs, hospitalization fees, ambulatory transportation, physical therapy sessions, and more
- Lost income from the past and future from missing work due to injuries, recovery time, legal needs, and medical procedures
- Property damage to your vehicle, personal items, electronics, and other belongings
- Pain and suffering damages, including PTSD, anxiety, psychological stress, mental scarring, emotional trauma, fear, and more
- Wrongful death expenses in the event a family member or loved one died in the incident, which would include funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, pre-death medical bills, and others
Our team of lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group
will work around the clock to negotiate the best deal from the insurance agency. You may not be able to handle the case yourself due to injuries or lack of experience in the area. Leave it to us, and we promise to aggressively stay on top of your lawsuit. Your case will always be at the front of the line and we will stay in continuous contact with the insurance agent, working to bring you a fair offer.
DTLA Law Group: Working For You
At the Downtown LA Law Group in Los Angeles, we have spent years handling car accident claims that involve elderly drivers. We know the best methods to winning your cases, and we will handle all the legwork for you, from filing documents to hiring expert witnesses. You should not be expected to exert all this energy when it could be directed to your recovery process.
Call our firm today to set up a free legal consultation with a skilled attorney. Our lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’ll always give you legal advice if you need it and we will update you on the status of your case whenever you call us. All of our consultations are confidential, and your private details won’t be shared elsewhere. We encourage you to ask us anything you wish – we believe that all of our clients should be well-informed when it comes to the law, and we do not want you to be kept in the dark.
Over the past year, 14 million Americans aged 18 to 64 were estimated to be involved in accidents caused by drivers aged 65 and over, according to a new Caring.com report.
If you hire us to handle your accident claim, we will not take any of your money, thanks to our zero fee guarantee. This promises that we won’t get paid unless and until we win your lawsuit. Our fees will be covered by taking a portion of the settlement we bring you. If we lose, you won’t owe us a single penny, and we’ll eat the costs of the case and suffer the loss ourselves.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Downtown LA Law Group at (888) 649-7166
if you have been involved in an accident with an elderly driver and want to take legal action.