Has your senior loved one suffered an injury after a car accident? If so, you need to pursue compensation for their injuries. According to the CDC, over 250,000 seniors were treated for car accident injuries in the emergency room in 2018. These statistics show that seniors are more likely to be responsible for car accidents than middle-aged adults. For this reason, pursuing compensation can be a challenging process. Below are three elements you should note during the claims process.
Proof of Liability and Negligence
As people age, they are prone to medical conditions that may affect their concentration and alertness on the road. Issues such as vision problems, memory loss, and slower reflexes negatively affect their performance as drivers. Therefore, in an accident involving an older adult driver, the senior may have a hard time proving they weren't responsible for the crash.
If a senior was partly responsible for the crash, the defendant's insurance might use existing age-related conditions such as poor vision to amplify the senior's contribution to the accident. Thus, you need to gather adequate evidence to prove the other party's liability and negligence. Collect witness statements and review the police report. Doing so will protect your loved one from receiving little compensation even when they were not the negligent party.
Exacerbation of Pre-Existing Conditions
Most seniors have pre-existing conditions that may worsen because of a car crash. For example, if one had lower back pain, the accident can worsen the condition. Seniors may also suffer additional symptoms due to the exacerbation of pre-existing conditions. However, this doesn't mean that the defendant should use pre-existing conditions to cheat them out of a fair settlement.
Most states employ the eggshell skull rule, which states that a defendant is liable for all damages resulting from their actions. Thus, it doesn't matter whether the plaintiff is a senior with pre-existing conditions or at a higher risk of injuries. The liable party should pay for the injuries and other damages resulting from the crash.
Seniors deserve fair compensation for car accident damages. However, sometimes, the defendant's insurer may offer a low settlement. Below are some examples:
- The senior may not have economic damages if they have no work
- In the case of death, dependants may receive little compensation due to the short life expectancy of their loved one
- Compensation for disabilities may be low if the senior already had pre-existing disabilities
Ensure your loved one gets fair compensation during the settlement. Some damages to capitalize on include pain and suffering, medical expenses, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.
Without legal representation, seniors may get little compensation, even when they were not liable for a car accident. Contact an auto accident lawyer for legal help.