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Elderly Related Car Accidents

Maine car accident attorneys in Briggs & Wholey have litigated personal injury cases for a combined total of nearly 30 years. During that time, they have helped countless victims recover the compensation they deserve following auto accidents, including those involving elderly drivers.

As drivers age, the faculties that once made them excellent drivers may become diminished. This puts elderly drivers, and those they share the road with, at a higher risk for car accidents. However, perhaps because the ability to drive is a sign of independence, some drivers over the age of 65 are not willing to relinquish their driving privileges as quickly as they should. At Briggs & Wholey, we conduct thorough accident investigations to determine whether negligence or recklessness on the part of an elderly driver has led to our clients’ injuries.

Deteriorating Physical Health Can Impair Driving

The American Automobile Association, Inc. describes how vision, hearing, medication, and cognition affect one’s ability to drive safely. People rely most heavily on vision and hearing to drive, but those senses naturally deteriorate with age. As a result, Maine requires drivers to have an eye test after turning 40, and then at every other renewal afterward until reaching the age of 62. Maine classifies drivers over the age of 65 as Mature Drivers, and requires them to renew their licenses every four years, more frequently than other drivers must do so.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has also outlined the physical, mental, and emotional capabilities needed to obtain and keep a driver’s license. Driver’s license applicants with neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal, visual, emotional, psychiatric, or substance abuse conditions that could impact their ability to drive must submit a report. Applicants are encouraged to self-report, but documentation and concern regarding a citizen’s ability to drive may be submitted by doctors and family members. It is important for the state to monitor the development of these conditions among the driving population due to the dangers they can create on the roads. For example, slow reaction times can be caused by sore joints from old injuries or impaired cognition. Thus, even if a driver generally exhibits safe driving and good judgment on the road, the inability to react to an unexpected obstacle can create a risk of injury to others. Consumption of prescription medications can also alter a motorist’s physical or cognitive abilities with respect to driving.

Recovering the Compensation You Deserve

All drivers have a legal duty to drive safely, or to exercise reasonable care when operating a vehicle, regardless of age. If an elderly driver ignores his or her physical or cognitive limitations and injures someone while driving as a result, they may have breached that duty. If the victim proves that the elderly driver failed to exercise due care, the driver may be legally responsible for damages, or money paid to compensate the injured persons, or loved ones of the deceased, for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other amounts.

The experienced Maine car accident lawyers at Briggs & Wholey focus on recovering the award you need to be made whole again after a serious car accident. We work tirelessly to obtain the compensation that you deserve. We practice across the state of Maine, and will utilize the appropriate experts and evidence to help you win your case. Call our Maine office today at (888) 596-1099, or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.

Donald Briggs C. Donald Briggs, III Feb. 7, 1954 - Sept. 7, 2014 Your dedication and hard work continue...