Car Accident Lawyer for Baby Boomers
In this article, we’ll break down:
- Is there a bias against baby boomer motorists in Florida
- How to prove negligence after a car accident if you’re over 65
- What to do if a negligent driver tries to blame the accident on your age
- Prepare for Age to Be a Factor in Valuing Your Injury Claim
- What if you are partially at fault in a car accident?
- Benefits of Having An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Handle Your Claim
Is Their A Bias Against Baby Boomer Motorists in Florida?
As the third most populous state in the U.S., auto accidents in Florida are a fact of life.
And with more than 20% of the Florida population being over the age of 65, a large portion of Florida motorists are baby boomers. Unfortunately, the idea that older drivers are a threat to other drivers on the road is an all-too-common misconception that seems to have taken hold here and across the country.
The data tell a different story, though. While Florida led the nation in car accident fatalities involving adults 65 and older as of 2010, those fatalities were primarily due to the fragility and deteriorating health of the drivers who were mostly 80 years of age or older. The research helps to dispel the myth that baby boomers are generally dangerous drivers and pose a significant risk to other motorists.
As a fellow baby boomer, Alan Sackrin understands the challenges and potential legal threats that exist when drivers over the age of 65 are regarded as dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. Until perception catches up with reality, however, older adults involved in car accidents should be prepared for at-fault drivers and their insurers to use their age against them.
How to Prove Negligence In A Florida Car Accident?
To prove fault in a car accident, an older adult must prove the other driver was negligent. Negligence refers to a person’s breach of his or her duty of care to act in a “reasonable and prudent” manner while driving and that this failure caused the accident that led to your injuries.
In some cases, the other driver is clearly at fault; however, proving this can be more complicated than it seems. Here is a list of the most common signs a driver has failed to uphold their duty of care while behind the wheel:
- Aggressive or careless driving
- Texting or talking on the phone
- Failure to obey traffic signs
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield or stop for other traffic
- Failing to check blind spots
If you believe the other driver was negligent in any of these ways and their negligence caused your car accident, then you can seek compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver. However, to be successful, you’ll need to prove negligence by presenting the appropriate evidence to support your claim.
Here are a few ways to collect evidence you can use to support your claim that the other driver was negligent.
- Collect Witness Statements
- Document Your Statement
- Take Photos at the Scene
- Find Out if Security Camera Footage is Available
Read more about Gathering Evidence to Support Your Personal Injury Claim
A Negligent Driver May Try to Blame the Accident on Your Age
If a negligent driver tries to blame you by citing your age as a factor that contributed to the accident, you’ll also need to gather evidence to negate their claims.
A younger negligent driver might try to claim you had difficulty seeing the road, that your reaction time was too slow, or that there was some medical issue that hindered your ability to drive safely. Whatever the claim, they’ll try to use your age as a pretext for putting the blame on you.
Be prepared by being proactive. For instance, if the driver claims your vision is poor and contributed to the accident, contact your eye doctor, and obtain any medical records that prove you’ve had a recent eye exam. Security camera footage can also help show your vision was fine or perhaps that you were wearing prescription glasses at the time of the accident.
Security camera footage can also help prove that you were maintaining a safe speed at the time of the accident, fully aware of your surroundings, and did not contribute to the crash.
Personal injury settlement values can involve significant age bias, too. Older adults almost always contend with insurance companies attempting to reduce the value of their claims based on their age.
Why? Because the insurance company may be focused on your life expectancy and not on your current pain and suffering and whether your injuries are impacting your quality of life or that of your family now and in the future.
Read more about How Age Can Affect the Settlement of a Personal Injury Claim and find out what you can do if you receive a personal injury claim that insufficiently covers your damages.
What if You Do Bear Some Responsibility for Causing the Accident?
In many accidents, more than one driver may have contributed to the collision, and therefore, under Florida law, those drivers share responsibility. Unfortunately, you may have been partially responsible, even if the other driver bears most of the blame. This is called comparative, or contributory, negligence. If a judge or jury determines that you were partially at fault for the accident, you’ll likely receive a reduced portion of the damages awarded.
If you believe that you and the other driver share responsibility for the accident, you should still pursue compensation. Under Florida law, an injured accident victim can recover damages regardless of who is at fault, although the recovery may be limited to a portion of the total damages.
Auto accidents involving injuries can be anything but simple, and it’s likely to be more complicated than you can imagine. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will have plenty of resources at their disposal, and you can bet they’ll do everything they can to avoid paying your medical bills and other damages—or at least try to settle for as little compensation as possible. The good news is, an experienced car accident lawyer knows how most insurance companies handle these car accident claims. Meaning, those involving a car accident victim who is 65 years of age or older.
Also, because the victim bears the burden of proving negligence, an experienced lawyer can save time in gathering the appropriate admissible evidence to support your case. Your attorney can ensure that the evidence and your medical records and bills are presented to the driver’s insurance company in a way that increases the likelihood of a fair settlement.
Finally, your attorney should be able to negotiate favorable settlements with your own insurers—including your health insurance company—as well as any medical providers that treated you for your injuries.
Call Alan Sackrin For a Free Case Evaluation
As a Board-Certified Civil Trial Expert—and a baby boomer himself —Alan Sackrin understands the issues facing older drivers and the negative bias they face on the road each day. He has spent more than 38 years evaluating accident facts, applying the law, and effectively asking juries to render a favorable verdict.
Alan Sackrin offers a free initial consultation (over the phone or in-person) to answer your questions. When you’re ready to speak with a car accident lawyer about your case, call Alan at 945-458-8655.