A car accident can happen to anyone. Even the most careful drivers can still cause or be victims of motor vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, older adults who are generally thought to be careful often get involved in car crashes. Fortunately, an Atlanta car accident attorney can help you get compensation for any losses you suffer in an accident with an elderly driver.
However, car accident cases involving elderly persons can get complicated. This is because establishing liability in these cases may be challenging. On the other hand, winning a personal injury claim involving a senior citizen wouldn’t be too difficult if you have an excellent attorney. So, it’ll be best to hire a lawyer immediately after such a crash.
How Common Are Accidents With Elderly Drivers?
Firstly, it’s vital to note that senior drivers in Atlanta, GA are 64 years and above. Around the US, 65 years is the benchmark. Unfortunately, car crashes in this age group are pretty frequent. Statistics show 4,404 accident fatalities involving drivers between 65 to 74 years in 2019.
Furthermore, drivers above 74 got into 3,229 fatal crashes in the same year. 2015 figures also show that 18.2% of Georgia’s accident fatalities involved drivers 65 years and above. This percentage amounts to 260 deaths. Clearly, this shows that senior citizens have a high rate of vehicle collisions in the US.
Causes of Senior Driver Accidents
Several factors contribute to Atlanta car accidents. However, peculiar issues increase the chances of collisions involving elderly drivers. We explain some of them below.
Poor Sight or Hearing
Old age often affects eyesight and hearing abilities. These are two vital aids for drivers of all vehicle types. Even a slight eye problem can prevent you from seeing a vehicle, thus leading to severe collisions.
That’s why Georgia’s Department of Driver Services (GDDS) mandates eye checks for senior citizens when renewing their driving licenses. Poor hearing is dangerous too. An impaired driver may not hear when other drivers blow their horns.
Old age also comes with debilitating and other severe illnesses. For example, senior citizens often struggle with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s disease affects the patient’s body movements. Conversely, Alzheimer’s disease destroys memory and other mental functions. Therefore, an older person suffering from these diseases may get into a collision.
Some other factors lead to senior citizen accidents. They include:
- Poor judgment
- Inability to focus
- Slow reaction time
- Impaired driving due to medications
Finally, the most common causes of car crashes in general also apply to collisions involving elderly persons.
Who Is Liable in an Atlanta Accident With an Elderly Driver?
Georgia is a fault-based accident state. Therefore, the responsible party pays for the losses flowing from the crash. This means that you must determine the liable party in a senior citizen accident to recover compensation. Notably, an excellent attorney will have the necessary skills for determining car accident liability.
Suppose the senior citizen caused the accident negligently. Then, they’ll be liable for your losses. Old age doesn’t reduce or eliminate civil liability in Georgia. So, you can file a compensation claim against the negligent older adult.
Georgia’s Family Purpose Doctrine
Other parties may also be liable in an Atlanta senior citizen crash. Georgia’s family purpose principle can accomplish this. Under this rule, the vehicle owner may be liable if the senior citizen used the car for a family errand. In this case, the car owner is liable for the negligence of family members. The liability might be higher if the vehicle owner knew that the senior citizen wasn’t fit to drive.
What if I Was Partly Responsible?
Car crash victims sometimes contribute to the collision. If this happens, you’ll share liability with the negligent older person. Fortunately, Georgia practices the comparative negligence principle. Therefore, you can still recover compensation if you share fault for the accident.
The only condition is that the law will reduce your compensation proportionate to your percentage of fault. For instance, suppose you contributed 20% of the accident responsibility. Then, you can only recover 80% of your losses.
Atlanta’s Best Car Crash Lawyers Can Help You!
Have you been in an Atlanta car crash? If you have, then you may be eligible for compensation. First, however, you need the best Atlanta car accident law firm. At The Weinstein Firm, our attorneys can help you handle your car accident claim. Dealing with insurance companies alone is a terrible idea.
So, it’ll be best to hire us to get the maximum compensation. Contact us today for a FREE no-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis.