Pedestrian Accidents and the Elderly
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seniors account for about 13 percent of the total United States population. People ages 65 and up accounted for 16 percent of all of the traffic fatalities in the U.S. during 2009. They also made up eight percent of all people injured in traffic accidents during this same period.
A total of 775 of the fatal accidents involving people age 65 and up were pedestrian accidents in 2009, meaning elderly individuals accounted for 18.9 percent of pedestrians killed that year.
Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to being killed in pedestrian accidents because they move more slowly across the road and may not be able to cross fully before the traffic signal changes. The elderly are also already most likely to be killed in a fall accident, which share many similarities with pedestrian accidents.
Other factors including the elderly failing to look before crossing the road, and the inattention of drivers on the road also contributed to the number of pedestrian accidents and the elderly.
When an individual is involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important for that individual or his/her family members and loved ones to take action. Contact the Boston pedestrian injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jerry S. Glassman using our online form or via phone at (617) 777-7777 to learn more about your legal rights.Massachusetts Pedestrian Accidents and the Elderly
Elderly people involved in a pedestrian accident may have medical bills and any lost wages, if applicable, paid by their own personal injury protection (PIP) after a car accident if they are insured. If they are not driving or insured at the time when the pedestrian accident happened, they may be able to make a claim for compensation under the PIP coverage of someone else in their household.
However, the elderly are more likely to have large medical bills, broken bones and other serious injuries when involved in an accident, which means that there is a good chance they will meet the "tort threshold" in Massachusetts. When you meet the tort threshold and incur large medical bills or experience a broken bone or disfigurement, you can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation from a party who is at fault for causing an accident.
This means that if a driver was at fault- either completely or partially- for the pedestrian accident involving the elderly individual, then the driver can be held responsible for some or all of the damages incurred by the elderly victim. This may include coverage not just for medical costs and lost wages, if applicable, but also for other types of non-economic damage including pain and suffering or emotional distress. If an elderly pedestrian accident victim dies as a result of an accident caused by another party, then the family members of the deceased victim may make an additional claim for wrongful death damages.
Receiving personal injury damages for a Boston pedestrian accident involving someone elderly is going to depend upon whether you can prove that the driver or drivers involved in the accident were negligent in a way that led to the harm of the elderly victim. Your Boston personal injury attorney can help you to show negligence by gathering evidence that proves a reasonable driver would have exhibited greater care in the situation.