Elderly Related Car Accidents
Drivers' vision deteriorates and their reaction times slow as they age. They may develop medical conditions that make it unwise for them to drive. Although they have the experience to drive, they may no longer have the ability to drive safely. On the road, an elderly individual can present a particular safety hazard to other drivers. If you are hurt in a car accident in Dallas or the surrounding area, an attorney at Feizy Law Office can help you assert your rights.
Bringing a Negligence Claim against an Elderly Driver
In Texas, the Department of Public Safety handles driver's license matters, while the Department of Motor Vehicles handles vehicle registration, disability parking, and license plates. There are special rules for elderly drivers.
For example, drivers who are 79 and over must take a vision test and submit to medical evaluation when renewing their licenses, and they must renew their licenses every six years until they are 84. When they are 85 or older, they must renew in person every two years. A vision test is required at an in-person renewal. It is not uncommon for older drivers to have a license restriction that requires them to wear glasses or corrective lenses. The license may also restrict nighttime driving or freeway driving, or it may require other conditions to be met, such as having another adult drive in the passenger front seat. Family members and others can request an unsafe driver investigation for an elderly person.
An elderly driver who fails to abide by the conditions of his or her license and thereby causes an accident is likely to be found negligent. You would need to show that the elderly driver owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and actually and proximately caused the accident, as well as that actual damages resulted. For example, an elderly person who is required to wear glasses but leaves them at home has breached the duty to use reasonable care while driving. If this person rear-ends you because he or she is unable to see that another car has stopped, you may be able to bring a negligence claim.
When an elderly person is the victim of someone else's negligence, he or she may suffer more serious injuries than a younger victim might under the same circumstances. For example, an elderly person's body is more susceptible to infection, and a broken bone can take a longer period of time to heal. In Texas, a defendant takes a plaintiff as he or she finds him. Those who are more susceptible to injury are known as eggshell plaintiffs. Even if a victim’s injuries are worse than would be expected based on the accident, a defendant whose negligence caused the injuries may be held responsible for the full scope of damages. As long as the elderly person was less than 51 percent at fault for the accident, he or she can potentially recover compensation.
Consult a Dallas Attorney after a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision in Dallas or another Texas city, you should consult a lawyer who can investigate the cause of the accident and present your case in the best light to a jury. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or set up an appointment through our online form. We also represent accident victims in cities such as Garland, Arlington, Plano, Fort Worth, and Irving.