The tragedy of a car accident is that it can cut anyone’s life short, regardless of their age or health. However, car crashes can be especially harmful for drivers age 65 and older who may have a harder time recovering from the serious injuries they suffer. If you are an older person who has been injured, or if you have lost an older family member in a fatal accident, an attorney can help you seek compensation.
Effects of Car Accidents on the Elderly
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases annual statistics on car accidents in the United States, and their 2018 data shows that almost 7,000 people over the age of 65 lost their lives in car accidents, accounting for 19 percent of all traffic fatalities. The fatality rate per 100,000 licensed drivers was significantly higher for drivers age 65 and older than for drivers under the age of 65, and drivers age 80 and older have an especially high fatality rate.
The risk of fatality is high despite the fact that older drivers are less likely to engage in certain risky driving behaviors than their younger counterparts. For example, 73 percent of older drivers and passengers killed in a crash were wearing seat belts, compared to only 47 percent of drivers under the age of 65. Additionally, only 9 percent of older drivers in fatal accidents were alcohol-impaired, compared to 21 percent of younger drivers.
Recovering Damages for an Accident Involving an Older Driver
If you are over the age of 65 and were injured in a car accident, the effects may linger throughout your remaining years. You may require surgery, ongoing treatment, and extensive rehabilitation, and your physical and mental capacity could suffer permanently. If another driver was responsible for your injuries, you can pursue compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
A wrongful death claim is also possible for families who have lost an older loved one in an accident. The responsible driver may owe you compensation for your family member’s damages as well as your own, including lost financial support that your loved one provided and your grief and loss of companionship.
Contact a Green Bay Car Accident Lawyer
At Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., we treat our older clients and their families with compassion and understanding of the challenges they are facing. We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible after an accident so that we can help you gather crucial evidence of another driver’s fault that we will use to make a case for full compensation. Contact an Appleton, WI personal injury attorney today at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation.