Car Accidents with Elderly Drivers | Staver
Car Accidents

Car Accidents with Elderly Drivers

Driving is often equated with freedom, and while it’s a privilege for most people to have a driver’s license, senior citizens and elderly drivers can sometimes pose a risk to themselves and others.

With about 32 million licensed drivers being 70 years or older, there is a significant chance you could be in an accident involving an elderly driver. Getting compensation for a crash that isn’t your fault is your right under Illinois personal injury law, and you should find a Chicago auto accident lawyer to help you with your claim, especially one as sensitive as dealing with an elderly at-fault driver.

Call the Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., to get started: (312) 236-2900. Initial consults are free, there’s no upfront cost and no payment unless you recover compensation.

Common Causes for Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers

Although elderly drivers have years of experience driving, they’re at risk of causing accidents because of their advanced age. It’s not uncommon for older drivers to have delayed reaction times and impaired vision. It’s not unusual for elderly drivers to become confused as they move on the road.

Elderly drivers could also cause an accident if they:

  • Drive under the speed limit
  • Brake erratically
  • Perform illegal road maneuvers
  • Drive the wrong way on one-lane roads
  • Cross the center lane
  • Run stoplights or stop signs
  • Fail to yield the right of way

Poor weather conditions or low visibility can intensify the danger posed by elderly drivers.

Who’s Liable in a Crash with an Elderly Driver?

More than one person can share the blame for an accident, and the fact that a senior citizen is involved does not make them automatically responsible. However, if an elderly driver negligently or recklessly operated their vehicle, they will probably share most of the blame.

In some cases, an elderly driver may borrow a car. If the owner knows the senior driver shouldn’t be behind the wheel and lets them go, they could share liability if they cause an accident.

Common Injuries Caused By Elderly Drivers

Although an elderly driver might be moving at a relatively slow speed, any crash could carry the risk of causing an injury. Even a mild injury, like whiplash, could put a financial burden on you, and if another driver harmed you, you could pursue compensation.

Injuries caused by car accidents include, but are not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Knee Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Broken bones
  • PTSD
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Even when a crash seems minor, some injuries have delayed symptoms. It’s critical to get treated by a medical provider as soon after an accident as possible.

Compensation for an Accident with an Elderly Driver

Illinois is an at-fault state. That means the driver responsible for your injuries will need to pay for your damages. The state requires drivers to carry insurance policies that can cover most of those expenses.

Working on a claim against an elderly driver should be similar to an accident with any other driver. You might feel guilty because they could be living on a fixed income. But you should remember they caused your injuries and should be held accountable. If they have insurance, their insurer will be responsible for your damages in the end.

Possible Damages You Can Recover

You can pursue economic and non-economic losses caused by someone else’s negligence. That means your out-of-pocket expenses, like medical bills, lost wages, and property repair bills, should be covered. Your non-economic losses, conceptual losses, aren’t easily quantified, but they’re the damages caused by the hardships created by your economic losses. You can pursue payments for your mental anguish or pain and suffering.

How to Prove a Claim Against Elderly Driver

If you’re in a crash with an elderly driver in Illinois, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for your losses. But insurance companies are profit-driven, so paying every claim would hurt their business.

To prove fault and demonstrate that you’re owed compensation, you’ll need evidence to show the elderly driver was at fault for your losses. Even if you are reluctant to pursue a claim against an elderly driver, you should remember that even minor accidents can affect your daily life. And not every accident with an elderly driver is minor: the National Safety Council reported 1,952 vehicle occupant traffic deaths in 2021 in crashes involving an elderly driver.

Possible evidence in a car accident case involving an elderly driver may include the following:

In Illinois, drivers 75 years or older must take an annual road exam each year they renew their license. But in 2022, the age requirement was changed to drivers 79 years or older. If the driver that hit you didn’t take this exam, you could prove they were liable.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When recovering from a car accident, it can be difficult to focus on a legal case while dealing with your physical needs. Hiring a lawyer can help you pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. They can investigate your case, pursue evidence that confirms the elderly driver is liable, and help calculate the value of your claim.

Insurance companies may argue some or all of your injuries existed before the accident or that you were partially to blame for the accident. They want to reduce the payout they owe you for their client’s mistake. An attorney can recognize their lowball offers and keep them accountable for what they owe you.

Get Help If You’re Hurt by an Elderly Driver

You might be uncomfortable pursuing a claim against an elderly driver, but they have a duty of care not to cause accidents when they get behind the wheel. If they violate that care, you’re owed compensation for your damages. The Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., can help you handle this sensitive claim.

We’re ready to help you pursue what you’re owed so you can recover after a Cook County crash. Call (312) 236-2900 or submit a request online for a free, no-risk consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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