Our lawyers advocate for victims of negligence from all walks of life, and at various stages of their lives. We are very proud of our work on behalf of older individuals and their families and have represented elderly clients in all types of cases, including those involving nursing home negligence, medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents. When an older person loses their life in an accident, it is especially tragic because the victims have endured so much over their lives, and are often survived by many, including spouses children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.
According to an article by the Journal Star, an 81-year-old man recently died while driving onto I-74 in Peoria, Illinois. The Peoria County Coroner reported that the man was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and that four other people also suffered personal injuries from the collision. The deceased victim was traveling west on the interstate near the 474 interchange when he pulled over on the right shoulder. Upon trying to reenter the traffic, he was struck by a minivan and this collision pushed the man’s vehicle into the westbound lanes.
It is unclear on whether this victim’s age or physical condition played a role in the cause of this accident. However, it is important to keep our elderly drivers safe on the roads, and to do that, that may mean bringing up a delicate topic to a loved one about no longer driving at this point in their life. While you know that you are bringing this up out of love and caring for their safety, this may be a difficult conversation because to many, this is giving up a source of their independence and recognizing they no longer have a capability that they used to. It is important to be respectful to this individual and remind them that you care about their best interest. However, it can be of comfort to your loved one that their independence is not lost, and that there are alternative methods of transportation such as buses, trains, or carpooling.
There are several warning signs that you should look for in elderly drivers that can indicate to you when it may be time to have this conversation. According to HelpGuide.org, there are several things you can look out for that age could be interfering with driving, safety, reaction times, etc. For instance, decreased vision, impaired hearing, and slower reflexes could pose a problem for a senior to drive safely. Additionally, reduction in an individual’s strength, coordination, and flexibility can also affect their ability to drive a car. Consider how neck pains can make it more difficult to turn your head, and that this is very important to look at the other lanes of traffic, to make turns, or to change lanes. Leg pain may make it harder to use the gas and brake pedals. Medical professionals can also spot warning signs with annual (if not more frequent) check-ups. An eye doctor may be able to say if glasses are not enough for an individual to have vision adequate enough for driving, just as an ear doctor may note if one’s hearing is not as strong as it should be to drive.
Our attorneys care about our elderly in the community, and we too only want what is safest for them. However, we also fight to protect the rights of older people who are still capable of driving but have been injured due to another’s negligence on the road. These individual may be able to seek compensation for injuries and losses. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident at any age, our firm would be happy to hear from you in a free consultation. Call us today, and we may be able to help you in legal action.