Car Accidents Involving The Elderly

Posted on: 1 October 2021

The CDC suggests that older drivers, especially those aged 75 and over, have a higher rate of fatal accidents than other drivers. According to the CDC, the high rate of elderly-related car accidents can be attributed to declining eyesight and cognitive abilities. If you have been involved in a vehicle accident with an elderly driver, consult a car accident lawyer for help. Here are some elements of car accidents involving the elderly.

Laws for Older Drivers

The laws in many states allow elderly drivers to operate vehicles but usually with a restricted license. The license incorporates limitations, such as the driver's requirement to wear glasses behind the wheel, drive only during the day, and avoid large highways or densely populated areas.

In many states, elderly drivers are not allowed to renew their licenses online or through the mail. They're also required to renew their licenses after a shorter period than ordinary drivers. They are also subjected to additional tests when renewing their license. 

When a driver has a record of car accidents and traffic violations, they may have to go through additional steps to retain their license. By reviewing the traffic laws in your state, your auto accident injury lawyer can determine whether the elderly driver violated any of these requirements.

Proving Negligence

If the elderly driver is responsible for a car accident, your lawyer should prove that they were unfit to operate a vehicle. Your auto accident lawyer may have to look at accident reports, medical records, and witness statements to build a case against the at-fault driver. Furthermore, your lawyer will look at the driver's driving record to determine whether they have been booked for reckless driving or caused accidents in the past.

Generally, your auto accident injury lawyer should prove the basic elements of negligence. First, that the elderly driver owed you a duty of care. They also have to show the driver breached this duty of care, resulting in a car accident. Finally, your lawyer should present evidence of injuries or material losses caused by the car accident.

Negligent Entrustment

Another concern that arises in elderly-related car accidents is negligent entrustment. If a senior driver who causes an accident is suffering from health problems and is driving another person's car, the vehicle owner can be charged with negligent entrustment. 

The same case applies to a senior driver who has a health condition that could impair their judgment, but a legal guardian permits them to drive anyway. In these scenarios, you must prove that the vehicle owner knew that the driver was not fit to operate a vehicle but allowed them to use their vehicle.