In 2019, as a result of traffic accidents, 3,610 people lost their lives, and 15,843 people sustained serious injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). These fatalities and injuries were caused by a number of different factors, one of which was unsafe elderly drivers. While many family members do not want to take away an elderly relative’s independence, with age, some seniors are unable to safely operate vehicles.
If you were injured by an unsafe elderly driver, you may have legal options for recovering compensation. A Houston elderly driver accident lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can review the circumstances of your situation and take action accordingly. Contact our Houston car accident lawyers at (877) 239-4878 to learn more.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Claim
When you partner with Loncar Lyon Jenkins, a Houston elderly driver accident lawyer will investigate your claim and gather evidence of how a senior caused your accident. The goal of our Houston personal injury lawyers is to recover compensation for your collision-related damages, whether through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Two of the services our team provides include:
Gathering Evidence To Support Your Case
To secure financial recovery for your losses, we will need to prove how your accident happened. This will also give us insight into who is responsible.
Some evidence that could support your case includes:
- Video recordings of the accident made by dash cameras, traffic cameras, or nearby surveillance cameras
- The accident report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your medical records
Your lawyer can gather these pieces of information for you while you focus on your health and family.
Calculating the Cost of Your Damages
We can review the cost of your damages to determine the value of your personal injury case.
We can also help you collect compensation for the following economic and noneconomic damages:
- Your medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Reduced future earning capacity
You may be able to recover compensation for items not included here. To learn more about seeking financial recovery for your damages, call Loncar Lyon Jenkins today at (877) 239-4878.
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The Potential Dangers of Elderly Drivers
When an elderly driver who has cognitive or physical deterioration gets behind the wheel, all road users are put at risk of harm.
Some of the dangers that elderly drivers pose include:
A Greater Risk of Being Involved in an Accident
Elderly drivers aged 65 and older are 16% more likely to cause an accident than other age groups, according to a RAND Corporation study. This is particularly notable since elderly drivers tend to drive far fewer miles than other age groups.
A Greater Risk of Dying in an Accident
The RAND Corporation study also found that older drivers are much more vulnerable to suffer fatal injuries in car accidents. In an accident, the occupants in a senior’s vehicle are 573% more likely to suffer fatal injuries when compared to occupants in a younger person’s vehicle.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that nearly 7,700 adults aged 65 and older were killed due to injuries they sustained in motor vehicle accidents in 2017.
Medical Problems That Affect Driving Ability
As people age, their overall health may decline. They may also develop conditions that impede their ability to drive safely. 80% of adults in their 70s suffer from arthritis, according to AAA. This condition can make it painful to grip and turn the steering wheel. Older drivers may also suffer from poor vision, hearing loss, or a decline in their cognitive function, according to the CDC.
Seniors may also suffer from joint pain and have weaker muscles that may cause issues, such as:
- Difficulty grasping objects
- Reduced flexibility
- A limited range of motion
This is not meant to serve as a complete or exhaustive list.
Potential Impairments Caused by Medications
Many medications may impact a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and this risk increases with the more medications that a person takes. Certain medications can make a driver dizzy or drowsy, impairing their driving skills.
Warning Signs of Possible Driving Issues
Citizens are encouraged to report unsafe drivers to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) by completing a written, detailed explanation of their concerns. Upon receiving a report, the Department may conduct an investigation or require testing to see if a driver poses a risk to other motorists.
The signs that an elderly person’s driving skills are declining include:
- Delayed reaction times
- Difficulty remembering
- Damage to their vehicle, including dents, scratches, and cracked windows
- Frequent accidents or “close calls”
- Difficulty regulating speed or staying in the same lane
- Expressions of concern about their own driving
Again, this is not intended to serve as an exhaustive list.
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Texas Laws Concerning Elderly Drivers
Elderly drivers must comply with all of the traffic rules currently set in place.
However, they are also subject to additional rules by the TxDPS, including:
More Frequent Renewals
Texas requires older drivers to renew their licenses more frequently than younger drivers. Drivers under 79 years of age are required to renew their driver’s licenses every eight years. However, drivers between the ages of 79 and 84 must renew their licenses every six years. Drivers who are 85 years or older must renew their licenses every two years. Additionally, all of these renewals (regardless of a driver’s age) must be done in person.
Required Vision Tests
Drivers aged 79 and older are required to pass a vision test with each renewal.
When a senior aged 79 years or older renews their license, they may be asked to answer questions about their medical history. Depending on the information discovered during this phase, a driver may be required to take a driving test or provide additional information from their primary care physician.
A number of license restrictions may be placed on a driver’s license if the TxDPS believes it is warranted.
Possible restrictions include:
- No nighttime driving
- A requirement to wear glasses or corrective lenses
- No freeway driving
- A requirement to wear hearing aids
- A requirement to install additional equipment in their vehicle
Additional sanctions may be placed than those listed here. When you work with Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we can determine whether the elderly driver was allowed to be on the road at the time of your collision. The information we find could help your case.
Get Your Free Consultation by Calling Us Today
If you were injured by an unsafe elderly driver, a Houston elderly driver accident lawyer can help. The team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins provides responsive legal assistance. We can handle all aspects of your claim while you focus on your recovery. Additionally, we do not charge any fees for your initial consultation, and you only pay for our services if we recover compensation on your behalf.
To learn more about your legal rights and options, call (877) 239-4878.