Having been taught to respect our elders, a situation like getting into a car accident with an elderly driver can be tough. On one hand, you don’t want to ruin their lives when they may already be suffering from low income, health issues, or other problems that come with age. On the other, it’s their responsibility to stop driving when they no longer possess quick reflexes and appropriate cognitive capacity. Unfortunately, a lack of viable public transportation options plus the natural desire to maintain one’s independence can encourage the elderly to hang on to their licenses as long as possible.
Several years ago, TRIP, a transportation research group, published a study about fatal car accidents involving elderly drivers. Ohio ranked as the seventh worst state for these accidents.
What should you do if you’re hit by an elderly driver?
Proving an Elderly Driver Is Negligent
Although it can feel uncomfortable or “mean” to sue an elderly driver, they still owe other drivers the same duty of care that you do. Don’t be alarmed if you must show that they’re incapable of driving at their advanced age, especially if you were seriously hurt. While it’s sad to have to give up a license, it’s also important to protect other people on the road. This goes straight to the heart of a negligence claim.
In order to prove negligence, you must show that the person had a duty of care to you (driving safely and legally), they breached that duty, and you were harmed as a result. Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney may show that the elderly driver breached their duty of care by:
- Driving without a valid license;
- Violating the terms of a restricted license, such as driving during prohibited hours or in prohibited areas; or
- The driver is not physically or mentally capable of driving safely.
Elderly drivers are most likely to cause accidents by driving under the speed limit, braking suddenly, making illegal left turns, driving the wrong way, running stoplights or red lights, and failing to yield at intersections. Bad weather and driving at night can exacerbate their driving problems.
Your attorney will look at the evidence available and determine what the best theory of the case is. In some cases, their age may not have anything to do with the accident—they may have been driving as recklessly as a 17-year-old who still thinks they’re invincible. Either way, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Work with an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to an elderly driver’s negligence, hiring a personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. When you work with me, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.944.4373 for a consultation.