North Carolina Elderly Related Accidents
Driving is one way that older adults stay independent and mobile. However, elderly drivers sometimes pose a substantial risk to other people on the road due to age-related declines in vision, reaction skills, and other functions. We all understand the importance of independence and driving certainly is important to most adults. While we intend no bias at all toward elderly drivers, the truth remains that it is important that all drivers (young and old) acknowledge any physical or medical limitations before they get behind the wheel. At Nagle & Associates, Raleigh personal injury lawyer Carl Nagle represents victims of motor vehicle collisions in their claims for compensation. Our firm maintains seven offices across North Carolina, and we have helped people in Wilmington, Winston-Salem, and Asheville, among other cities, pursue the legal remedies that they need. Our clients benefit from Carl Nagle’s former work as an insurance claims adjuster and an insurance defense attorney. Mr. Nagle brings an in-depth understanding of settlement and litigation techniques to his practice, including a thorough knowledge of how insurance companies may seek to minimize the value of claims. This helps us counter these tactics with our own strategies, protecting the rights of victims at each stage of the process.
When an elderly driver is not at fault, and was purely a victim in an accident, there are important legal issues that must be considered. For example, Medicare is the sole provider of health insurance for adults who have reached retirement age. In every personal injury case, Medicare will seek a share of the victim’s settlement. A skilled attorney will be aware of these claims, and we work ahead-of-time to seek reductions in Medicare’s claims, and to ensure that an elderly victim does not lose Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, or other important legal rights following a personal injury claim settlement.
Holding an Elderly Driver Accountable for an Accident
Victims of car accidents have a right to compensation when they have been struck by a careless driver, regardless of that person’s age. Elderly drivers certainly deserve our respect and sympathy, but as with all drivers they should be held responsible if their driving errors cause injuries to others. Further, at all ages, drivers must be aware of their medical status and limitations and acknowledge any lack of mental and physical capabilities necessary for safe driving. For example, an older driver with limited eyesight should wear corrective lenses or glasses to compensate for vision loss.
If a senior driver causes an accident, the victim may pursue a personal injury claim against that driver. Please understand that, in almost every car accident case, the at-fault driver will be represented by an insurance carrier that must pay for any legal defense in the event of a lawsuit, and for the damages and money losses claimed and proven by the victim. Thus, in most cases, the elderly driver will not be called upon to personally pay either for the lawyers who defend the case orfor the medical expenses and other money damages paid out to the victim.
To collect money damages, the car accident victim must prove the defendant’s liability, or fault, as well as the damages that he or she sustained. To establish liability following an elderly-related car accident, the plaintiff typically would show that the defendant driver owed him or her a duty of care and breached this duty, and the breach resulted directly in the accident and the resulting injuries. For example, an elderly driver may have failed to properly stop at a stop sign and then proceeded through the intersection, striking the plaintiff’s vehicle and causing injuries and property damage.
Defendants in a car accident lawsuit often try to claim that the plaintiff contributed to the accident and thus partly caused their own injuries. North Carolina is among a few states that maintain a “pure” contributory negligence law. This strict law prevents victims who are determined to be partly at fault for their injuries from recovering compensation. In contrast, other states that follow a comparative negligence law allow victims to recover a reduced amount of damages. Considering the potentially harsh applications of the contributory negligence law, it is important to consult a motor vehicle collision attorney who has the skill and tenacity to thrust aside any allegation that you were at fault for the wreck.
Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with a Raleigh Lawyer
At Nagle & Associates, our goal is to maximize compensation on behalf of injured victims and their families. Raleigh car accident attorney Carl Nagle and the rest of our staff are skilled at securing evidence and building legal claims to their full potential. We anticipate insurance strategies and defense tactics by utilizing Carl Nagle’s insurance defense experience, and also by drawing on the experience of the four fully licensed insurance claims adjusters who are currently employed by our law firm. With seven offices across the state, our law practice stands ready to serve you anywhere in North Carolina. While most of our cases settle with no court involvement, our trial team stands ready to bring your case through a jury trial in your home county if the other side fails to offer an acceptable settlement. We also charge a smaller share/percentage of any settlement amount or jury award than most personal injury law firms, allowing our client to take home a larger share of their personal injury compensation. Nagle & Associates can serve victims in Asheville, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Hickory, Charlotte, Greensboro, and other areas of Wake, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, New Hanover, Durham, Catawba, and Cumberland Counties. We provide a free case evaluation at which we can help you explore your options. Also, we are glad to meet with you at your home if a visit to one of our offices is currently inconvenient. Please invest a few minutes and contact our motor vehicle collision attorneys now by calling (800) 411-1583 or using our online form to schedule a telephone or in-person consultation.