Florida has a reputation for being one of the most popular retirement states in the country. Residents over the age of 65 enjoy a broad range of activities, including driving. Unfortunately, a decline in hearing, vision, and motor skills is typical in aging adults, making driving riskier for people of all ages on the road.
Auto collisions with senior drivers are increasing in Florida. If you are in an accident due to the fault of an aging driver, working with an elder driver accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your damages.
Statistics About Elder Driver Accidents in Florida
People often assume that young drivers are responsible for most auto collisions, but senior drivers are also risky. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the 65-and-over group makes up 20% of the population. Fatal car crashes among this demographic are steadily increasing, especially for people over 80 years old.
From 2013 to 2017, 708,221 drivers over the age of 65 were involved in an auto collision. Those figures work out to about 37.8 accidents per 1,000 people within that age range. For Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, the average is about 31.2 and 32.9 per 1,000 persons, respectively.
Studies show that drivers 65 and older will represent about 25% of Florida’s drivers by 2025. Seniors are 16% more likely to cause an accident than younger adults.
Florida Rules for Elder Driving
Because driving risks increase with age, older drivers have additional requirements and restrictions. For example, drivers 80 and older must renew their driver’s licenses every six years instead of eight. A vision test is part of the renewal process.
Older drivers can receive a license with restrictions requiring that:
- They must drive wearing glasses or contact lenses
- They cannot drive at night
- Their vehicle must have power steering and an automatic transmission
- Their car needs an extra side rear-view mirror on the left
Age and Liability for Auto Collisions
Physical and mental impairment contributes to elderly-driver accidents. Several factors influence an older adult’s impairment behind the wheel, including medication, deteriorating hearing and sight, delayed reactions, and reduced motor and cognitive skills.
Negligence is another reason for many of the senior-related accidents in the state. Regardless of a person’s age, all drivers must exercise a reasonable duty of care while operating a vehicle. When a driver is negligent, they:
- Do not exercise care
- Breach their duty of care
- Cause injury to a victim
Every driver must obey the road rules and adhere to the restrictions that keep them and others safe on the road. That includes wearing all vision and hearing aids as required and refraining from actions that might be a distraction.
Victims of senior-related collisions have a right to pursue damages with the help of an elder driver accidents lawyer.
How to Pursue Compensation for a Senior Driver Accident
Anyone who needs to file for compensation for an accident involving an elderly driver can do so by filing a personal injury claim due to negligence. The lawsuit requires the victim to prove that the senior driver had a duty to drive safely, carelessly breached their duty, and caused injuries or damages to the victim.
Examples of negligence include everything from failing to slow down during a storm to running a red light. You must file the suit within four years of the incident.
Whether a senior driver strikes you in your car, on a bike, or walking on a sidewalk, their auto insurance’s personal injury protection coverage will cover minor damages. However, severe personal injuries and property damages can easily exceed the coverage amount. You can recover several types of economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Although you can file a claim on your own, it’s best to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who understands how to fight for compensation and protect your rights.
Contact Oldham & Delcamp, LLC, for a Senior Drivers Accidents Lawyer
Florida is home to a thriving senior population, which is why the state has the highest rate of fatal auto collisions involving elderly drivers in the U.S. If you have injuries or property damage from a senior driver, you’ll need the legal assistance of a knowledgeable elder driver accidents lawyer.
Oldham & Delcamp, LLC, is a local law firm serving clients throughout Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay, Florida. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in dealing with car accidents, insurance companies, and senior drivers. We offer efficient legal representation to seek fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress.
Our car accidents lawyers at Oldham & Delcamp, LLC, are here to guide you through the legal process. If you’re ready to speak to an accident lawyer about your elder driver case, call (727) 201-5458 today to request a consultation. You can also fill our online contact form here.
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