One of the hardest aspects of getting older is losing your independence, including when it comes to driving. Although some elderly individuals have little difficulty operating a motor vehicle, there are others who experience complications because of diminished eyesight, hearing, or motor functions. Dementia is another common problem in elderly-related accidents, when aging individuals are unable to remember where they are or where they are going. In some unfortunate instances, these drivers cause accidents that can result in a wide variety of injuries. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston car accident lawyers have assisted many Massachusetts residents with seeking compensation after an elderly driver caused a crash. We understand how stressful this situation can be. Our attorneys can guide you through each step of the litigation and ensure that your rights are protected along the way.Proving Liability in an Elderly-Related Accident
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the number of elderly drivers behind the wheel continues to increase. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be roughly 10 million individuals in the U.S. aged 85 and older by 2030. This would constitute a 73 percent increase in the elder population from today’s numbers.
At present, there are an estimated 30 million senior citizens aged 65 and older who are licensed to drive. If a driver fails to use due care in operating their vehicle, you can bring a negligence claim to recover compensation for your damages. Massachusetts requires all drivers to exercise reasonable care and skill when operating a motor vehicle, regardless of their age. This standard requires drivers to maneuver carefully, pay attention to the roadway, and obey all traffic rules and regulations. Any individual who fails to drive according to this standard has breached the duty of care.
Some of the most common examples of how elderly drivers fail to drive with appropriate care include driving under the influence of medications, refusing to yield the right of way, braking or turning without looking, using the wrong pedal, failing to follow the speed limit, and weaving among lanes. This is especially true when an elderly person’s doctor has instructed them to refrain from driving at certain times of day or altogether.
After establishing that the elderly driver failed to use appropriate care and skill behind the wheel, the plaintiff must show that there is a causal link between this failure and the injuries that they sustained. If the defendant can prove that you acted negligently, such as by talking on your phone while driving, it may compromise your ability to obtain compensation. According to Massachusetts law, if the defendant can show that you were at least 51 percent responsible for the accident, you will be barred from receiving any compensation. If the plaintiff is determined to be less than 51 percent at fault, the jury will be asked to assign a specific percentage of fault to the plaintiff, and any judgment in their favor will be reduced by that percentage.
When it comes to compensation, there are several categories of damages that a plaintiff may be entitled to receive from a liable defendant. Medical bills are a common expense, while missed paychecks and reduced future earning capacity are also frequently awarded. A dedicated car accident lawyer can assist you with evaluating your claim and ensuring that you pursue the entire amount of compensation to which you are entitled.Hire a Car Accident Attorney in Boston to Pursue Your Claim
Although it can be difficult to bring a personal injury claim against an elderly individual who caused an accident, it is important to remember that insurance companies ultimately pay these awards in most cases, not the elderly person. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston attorneys have handled a wide range of car accident cases, which means that we understand how to approach your claim with a balance of compassion and tenacity. We provide a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal options. We serve injured people in Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. Call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online to set up your appointment.