If you, or a member of your family, have been injured in an auto accident involving an elderly driver, you may find that you are unable to meet your financial commitments. This could mean paying many of the regular bills, especially if you need ongoing medical treatment. You may even have lost your earning ability while taking time off work to recover.
If you did not cause the auto accident and you know that you were hit by someone who was elderly and that person was at-fault, this is when making a personal injury claim can help you financially.
The compensation covers auto damage, medical costs, loss of earnings while recovering, a sum for pain and suffering and punitive damages if it can be proved that the driver drove negligently or recklessly.
Causes of An Auto Accident
There are numerous reasons for auto accidents but mostly they are caused by inattention on the part of another driver, intoxication or speeding. Young people who are not so familiar with the road may underestimate the control they have over their auto at different speeds and take corners too fast or nor allow enough braking time at a stop sign or red light.
There is another group of drivers that are now being seen more frequently on busy highways and they are the elderly. They cause auto accidents too.
The Elderly and Auto Accidents
Elderly drivers can be seen more often nowadays as there are typically more of them, as the life expectancy for Americans increases. A study released from Carnegie Mellon University found that drivers over 85 years are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident than a teen.
One example of this was an auto accident in California when a man who was 86 years old drove his auto into a farmer’s market packed with people which ended up with 10 fatalities.
Causes of Auto Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers
According to police reports many cases of auto accidents caused by elderly drivers are due to the elderly driver confusing the brake and gas pedals.
All the elderly drivers involved in such accidents had passed sight and written driving tests.
None of them had fallen asleep behind the wheel, were intoxicated or taking strong prescription medications.
Elderly drivers tend to keep off busy highways and only drive when they have to, but they do see their auto as a symbol of freedom because it enables them to get out and about when they choose.
Personal Injury Claims and Elderly Drivers
If you have been involved in an auto accident with an elderly driver, you were injured and it was not your fault you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim to help finance the cost of the injury.
Many states, although not all, have what is known as a comparative fault law, which means if it is calculated that you are 10% at fault in the accident 10% of the value of your personal injury claim will be deducted before payment.
Also you must consider the statute of limitations in your state which is the time you are allowed from the auto accident involving an elderly driver to file the claim.
This can vary from 2 to 5 years, depending on the state. Because of the complexity of the state’s personal injury law, it is advisable to use a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim for fair compensation.