While many older drivers have difficulty maintaining control of a motor vehicle or seeing well in order to avoid a traffic collision, there are many different ways that seniors can stay safe on the roads as they age. According to a recent article in The New York Times, older adults behind the wheel are a common source of worry and, in some situations, a frequent cause of motor vehicle collisions in New York and across the country. Indeed, as the article points out, “highway safety experts have long been concerned about a possible epidemic of accidents and fatalities as people in their 70s, 80sm and beyond continue to drive,” and the adult children of those older motorists share such fears. To be sure, some adult children, according to the article, have gone to “extremes to commandeer the keys of their aging parents when reasoning fails to get them off the road.”
Yet are older drivers always to blame? Before you consider a car accident lawsuit for serious injuries, it is important to determine fault in the collision.
An Elderly Driver May be at Fault for Your Injuries
According to the article in The New York Times, an elderly driver may be at fault for your injuries, but you should not necessarily jump to conclusions. While seniors can have problems with vision and other health issues that impact their ability to drive safely, the article cites a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that suggests older drivers might not be as likely as you think to cause a car crash. Indeed, “drivers aged 70 and older,” according to the article, “were less likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than those 35 to 54.”
While you should certainly seek to hold any negligent motorist accountable for causing serious injuries in a crash, you should be sure to consider the fault of other parties involved in the wreck before automatically
You Will Need to Begin the Claims Process With an Auto Insurance Claim
Even if an older driver is in fact at fault, you will need to begin the claims process by filing an auto insurance claim since New York is a no-fault state. However, if you can prove that another driver—including the elderly motorist involved in the crash—was at fault, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you can prove that you meet the “serious injury threshold” required under New York law.
You Should Have a Car Accident Lawyer in New York Assess Your Case
While a senior behind the wheel might indeed be at fault for the collision in which you or someone you love sustained serious injuries, it is essential to have an experienced car accident attorney in New York assess your case to determine liability. As the article in The New York Times points out, while elderly drivers certainly may be at fault for avoidable crashes, there are steps that seniors can take to avoid accidents and to remain safe behind the wheel. As such, even if the collision in which you got hurt involved an elderly driver, you should ensure that the facts suggest that driver is liable for injuries.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney
If you have questions or concerns about filing a car accident lawsuit in New York, whether the collision involved a young or old driver, one of our New York car accident attorneys can speak with you today about your case. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC to learn more about how we can assist you.