Elderly Car Accidents
There can be increased risks when elderly drivers — those over 70 — are on the road. When people age, they are more likely to develop medical or health concerns that can undermine their cognitive skills and abilities, as well as their reaction time and ability to remember. Senior drivers are more likely to cause serious accidents than younger drivers are. And if a senior driver is in an accident partially caused by someone else, they can take much longer to recover than a younger person would. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP, our New York City car accident attorneys may be able to help you recover damages if you are injured in an elderly car accident.Explore Your Options Following an Elderly Car Accident
As in other types of car accidents in New York, if you suffer injuries in an elderly car accident, you will first need to make a claim against your own no-fault insurance coverage. However, if you suffer qualifying serious injuries as a result of an elderly driver's operation of a car, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Serious injuries are those that result in death, dismemberment, fractures, the loss of a fetus, significant disfigurement, permanent restrictions on the use of a body member or organ, the permanent and total loss of use of a body organ, function, member, or system, significant restrictions on using a body system or function, or a medically decided impairment that is not permanent but stops you from performing most of the material acts that make up your daily activities for at least 90 days in the 180 days immediately after sustaining the injury.
If you suffer a qualifying serious injury, your injury lawyer may be able to recover damages from an elderly driver who is at fault in a personal injury lawsuit in which they allege negligence. We will need to show that the elderly person owed you a duty of care, the duty of care was breached, and there was causation and actual damages. Common ways that elderly drivers breach the duty to use reasonable care include by driving too slowly, driving too fast, not reacting fast enough, drifting into another lane, backing out without paying attention, failing to yield the right of way, failing to obey red lights or other traffic signs, taking medications that impair their judgment while operating a vehicle, or mistaking the accelerator for the brake. The same standards for negligence would apply if an elderly person is harmed in an accident caused by another driver.
Sometimes, there are two people whose negligence together combines to cause an accident. All drivers owe a duty to use care on the road. Sometimes the person who is sued responds by arguing that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent. This means that the jury will look at both parties' conduct and assign each a percentage of fault. If you are assigned zero fault, you can recover 100% of your damages. However, if you are assigned any percentage of fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced by an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault. For example, if the damages are $500,000, and you are found 10% responsible for the accident, while the other driver is 90% responsible, you can recover $450,000 from the other driver.
With some New York-specific exceptions and limits, a defendant generally takes a plaintiff as he or she finds him or her under the eggshell skull doctrine. An elderly plaintiff may require more medical treatment or a longer recovery period than a younger person would when he or she gets into a car accident that causes serious injuries, but these additional damages likely will be compensated.Retain an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in New York City
If you are seriously injured in an elderly car accident on a highway or another road in the New York City area, it is vital to consult a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP provides effective legal representation in car accident lawsuits. We represent people in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-682-7409 or contact us through our online form.