The roads in New York have many elderly drivers who have long experience behind the wheel. Many people, however, believe that the roads are safer when older people drive, because they are careful, follow the speed limit, don’t take alcohol before driving and so on.
But, as the person ages, it’s likely they will develop medical conditions that will increase the chances of a potential accident.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by an elderly person, you could get a settlement. It’s important to seek legal assistance from a New York car accident attorney.
Causes of Elderly Driver Crashes in New York
Elderly people less likely to drive fast or recklessly, or violate traffic laws. Certainly, this type of driving isn’t a reason for any accident.
The number of elderly drivers isn’t small. Some cities in the state are known for having a major population of elderly people who are over the age of 70. After a person reaches this age, their driving abilities might be affected by health conditions such as impaired hearing, vision loss, heart failure, and so on.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles may issue some restrictions for elderly drivers based on their abilities. These drivers might only operate a vehicle if:
- Wearing proper glasses
- Driver during daytime
- Wear their hearing aids
Elderly drivers may even be required to use special equipment; for example, they may be required to drive a vehicle with hand-operated brakes. But, even with these modifications, elderly drivers may have slower reactions and be overwhelmed by traffic. And in such a case, it’s easy to cause an accident.
Types of Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers
Elderly drivers may be involved in any sort of crash in New York. However, some kinds of accidents are more common for elderly people. For instance, in many cases, accidents involving elderly people are the following:
- Driving too slow or too fast;
- Unexpected lane changes/drifting into another lane;
- They don’t survey the area before backing up;
- They don’t yield properly of way or stop.
No-Fault Benefits for Accidents With Elderly Drivers
New York is a no-fault insurance state and you should first seek a compensation claim from your insurance company after an accident.
This way you can be sure you will get coverage for your medical expenses and costs lost wages and other expenses that came after the accidents like transportation to the hospital or payment for other services (housekeeping, auto reparation, etc.)
But, you don’t have to rely on the no-fault insurance to get compensation in New York. In some cases, you might be able to get a personal injury claim against the liable driver.
You may take this step only if you were seriously injured in the accident.
Some injuries in New York are automatically assumed as serious (under New York Insurance Law §5102(d)). For instance, if you ended with broken bones or severe scaring, you will be considered to have serious injuries. It’s best to ask your attorney to review your medical records to see if your injuries may qualify as serious or not.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a car accident with an elderly driver and the accident was caused because of their fault, you should always seek legal help. Your attorney should be able to show that the older driver was responsible for the accident. The police report, evidence gathered at the scene, witnesses, and surveillance cameras can help you prove this.
In such a case you may be able to get your settlement.
Trying to resolve this by yourself may be challenging and complex. Let’s say you ended up with severe injuries and you aren’t able to get out of bed for a few days or weeks. Having an attorney will be of great help because they will do the necessary steps on your behalf.
If this is your first accident, you might not even know how to file a lawsuit or seek a compensation claim. Also, instead, to simply accept the very first offer of the insurance company, you should negotiate until you get a good offer. If the case gets to court, it’s also a good idea to have an attorney by your side.
If you’re in need of legal assistance after a car accident, Cellino Law is here to help you.
We have a history of car accident cases and will do our best to help you get your compensation claim.