Legal Guidance for West Palm Beach Victims of Motor Vehicle Collisions
Today, about 16% of West Palm Beach’s population is elderly, and the state of Florida is known for being a good place to retire. In many cases, elderly people can still drive well when they first retire in Florida, but as they age, their impairments increase. They may not be able to see as well, and they may react more slowly than a younger person would respond to an unpredictable event on the road. This may mean that due to an impairment they cause accidents, or it may mean that they are more subject to getting hurt due to someone else’s negligence because they cannot react quickly enough to danger. If you are involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach, the attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can help you understand your rights and explore your options.
Holding Elderly Drivers Accountable for Their Negligence
Of all the states, Florida has the highest number of fatal car accidents involving people who are 65 or older. The state requires drivers who are 80 years old or older to pass a vision test in order to renew their licenses.
If an elderly driver’s impaired faculties cause an accident in which you are hurt, you would need to show the elderly driver’s duty of care to you, a breach of that duty, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. The same elements apply if you are an elderly person trying to prove someone else’s negligence.
Elderly drivers owe the same duty of care that all other drivers in Florida owe. They must submit to the mandated vision test, wear correct lenses, and obey traffic rules, such as yielding appropriately and following the speed limit. In general, they must refrain from engaging in conduct that would pose foreseeable risks of harm to those around them.
In many cases, an elderly driver who is injured may take longer to recover from a car accident than a younger person. His or her medical case may involve more complications, such as a greater potential for infections. While an elderly person’s medical health may bear on the case or the degree of damages, in general, the defendant is responsible for injuries suffered even if the fact that the elderly person has medical problems means he or she suffered a more significant or unusual injury than the average person would have in the same type of accident. This is known as the eggshell plaintiff rule, which means that a defendant takes the plaintiff as he or she finds him.
An accident victim is required to mitigate his or her damages, however. If there is something that an injured person could have done to reduce the severity of the harm, such as going to the doctor right away or entering into physical therapy, he or she is expected to do that. The defendant is not expected to pay for damages that reasonably could have been avoided by the plaintiff.
Explore Your Options with a West Palm Beach Attorney after a Car Accident
After an accident that you believe may have caused you an injury, you should see a doctor right away. You should also consult an attorney. If an elderly driver caused an accident in West Palm Beach that harmed you, our experienced injury lawyers may be able to represent you in a claim for damages. Call Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733 or set up a free consultation via our online form. We represent clients in communities throughout Palm Beach County, including Royal Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and Delray Beach.