Elderly Related Car Accidents
Motor skills, cognitive ability, and visual acuity tend to diminish with age. Often, elderly drivers drive at extremely slow speeds, react more slowly, and suffer from impaired hearing or eyesight, which affects their ability to react to surprising events or makes them fear driving at a higher speed. In some cases, these impairments increase the risk of an accident or cause an accident. In other cases, however, an elderly driver is the victim of another driver's negligence and suffers more harm than another driver might in the same accident because elderly people tend to recover more slowly than younger people do. At Sharifi Firm, our car accident lawyers can help victims of careless drivers in the Los Angeles area pursue compensation.Asserting Your Rights through a Negligence Claim
There are more than 2.5 million drivers in California who are 70 or older. They face special requirements in holding driver's licenses. Any driver who is 70 or older must renew his or her license in person every five years and take a vision and hearing test at the renewal. In some cases, the DMV imposes additional restrictions on a license after administering the driving test for an elderly person, such as requiring the elderly person to wear corrective lenses while driving or prohibiting nighttime driving.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will conduct unsafe driver investigations of an elderly person upon request by a family member. The report of unsafe driving cannot be anonymous, but the DMV can honor confidentiality to the extent possible upon request. Why would a family member ask for this investigation? Among other things, in California, you can be held liable for loaning your car to someone whom you know is not a safe driver. If the DMV investigates and takes away an unsafe driver's license, this can remove pressure from having to say no to an elderly person who should not be driving.
If a senior citizen does cause an accident, he or she would be held to the same standard of care as any other person operating a motor vehicle. This means that a victim would try to establish that the elderly individual breached the duty of reasonable care that all drivers owe to others on the road. Any type of careless action can constitute a breach, such as distracted driving, failing to yield at an intersection, or swerving dangerously among lanes. It also would be critical to show that the accident would not have happened if the driver had acted with the appropriate level of care.
In some cases, if an accident victim is elderly, he or she may suffer more serious injuries as a result of an accident. California recognizes the "eggshell plaintiff rule,” which means that an accident can affect different people differently. A defendant is held responsible for injuries sustained by the plaintiff even if he or she suffered a more serious injury due to age than the average person would sustain. The defendant, in other words, takes a plaintiff as he or she finds him, including an elevated susceptibility to certain injuries.
Forms of compensation that may be available to a car accident victim include both objective and subjective types of costs and losses. They may range from economic damages like medical bills and lost wages to non-economic damages like pain and suffering.Enlist a Los Angeles Lawyer When Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
At Sharifi Firm, our experienced motor vehicle collision attorneys represent individuals in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California who are pursuing compensation from those who have harmed them. Many of our clients have come from Riverside, Temecula, San Bernardino, and Rancho Cucamonga, among other cities. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.