No one wants to take an elderly loved one’s license away. Having a license is one way that elderly individuals maintain their freedom. While life may change, and working or taking care of a large house might not be possible anymore, older individuals still want the ability to come and go as they please and live without depending too heavily on family, friends, or caretakers. However, there may come a day when it is time for an elderly person to give up their license. Unfortunately, that day may have been passed over, leading to an elderly driving accident that caused your injuries.
When you are hurt in an auto accident caused by a driver 65 years or older, then you must look into whether that individual should have been driving at all. An experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney from Studinski Law, LLC can help you look into this issue. While you may have compassion for the older driver, you still have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. We will guide you through the insurance claim process or if necessary, represent you in a personal injury lawsuit. Call us today at (715) 343-2850.
Elderly Driver Accident Statistics
From one point of view, elderly drivers are relatively safe and are involved in fewer accidents than younger drivers. Individuals between 65 and 74 years old were 11.5 percent of all drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Individuals over 74 years were only 6.9 percent of all drivers. Meanwhile, individuals between 45 and 54 years consisted of 18.1 percent and 55 to 64-year-olds were 17.3 percent of all drivers in collisions in 2015. There are numerous reasons for these lower percentages of elderly car accidents. There may be fewer elderly drivers on the roads compared to younger and middle aged drivers. Elderly drivers are typically more cautious and willing to follow the speed limit.
However, there is no denying that with age comes medical conditions that make driving problematic. That is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the likelihood of being involved in a fatal crash, per mile traveled, begins increasing after the age of 70 and is highest for drivers 85 years and older.
Reasons for the increased risk of being part of a deadly crash may include:
- Vision issues like cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes complications, age-related macular degeneration
- Mobility issues like arthritis, muscle weakness, diabetes complications, or Multiple Sclerosis
- Reduced executive functioning due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or depression
Common Causes of Elderly Driving Accidents
While younger drivers are more likely to cause an accident by speeding or driving recklessly, elderly drivers cause crashes for other reasons, such as:
- Driving through a red light or stop sign
- Driving far below the speed limit
- Braking unexpectedly
- Misjudging distances
- Driving the wrong way on roads
- Failing to yield at intersections
- Making improper left turns
- Driving at dusk, dawn, or nighttime
Proving Negligence After a Collision Involving an Elderly Driver
After you are hurt in a car accident, it is up to you to prove the driver who caused the collision was careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful while behind the wheel. Only by proving negligence can you recover compensation. It is the same for when you are hit by an elderly driver. However, there may be additional ways to gather evidence that the senior driver was negligent compared to how you would prove this for a younger driver.
You and your car accident attorney may want to look into the elderly driver’s eye sight. Wisconsin requires drivers to have 20/40 or better eye acuity or at least 20/100 with driving restrictions. Your elderly driving accident lawyer may seek to obtain the senior driver’s optometry records.
You may wish to gather information regarding the elderly driver’s other physical and mental conditions at the time of the accident. Older individual’s physical and psychological capabilities range greatly. After being hit by an elderly driver, you cannot assume anything about that person’s abilities. Only through a thorough investigation that may include a review of medical records, accident reports, driving records, and testimony, will you be able to ascertain whether the elderly driver suffered from a mobility or executive functioning issue that made it inappropriate for them to be behind the wheel.
Your attorney may recommend obtaining testimony from the elderly individual’s family members and close friends regarding whether they had any concerns about their loved one driving prior to the accident. There may be evidence that the elderly person’s children or grandchildren attempted to take away their driver’s license already due to physical or mental impairments.
Finally, you and your attorney will be interested in the elderly person’s driving record. The individual may have a recent record of tickets or accidents that can show they should no longer have been driving.
Contact Our Wisconsin Elderly Driving Accident Lawyers for Help
At Studinski Law, LLC, we are well-prepared to take on your elderly car accident case. One of our main areas of practice involves auto accidents and we understand the nuances associated with crashes caused by senior drivers. We have years of experience investigating collisions, gathering evidence on behalf of our clients, and proving negligence to insurers, judges, and juries. Whether you are focused on recovering compensation through an insurance claim or desire to move forward with the trial, we are here to fight for you. Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule an initial consultation and obtain answers to your questions.