Though it’s very unpleasant to think about, auto accidents do happen. These occurrences can result in injury and are often incredibly jarring for the victims and their families. Car accidents are unwelcome events for anyone to experience, but they can be catastrophic for senior citizens. With increased pre-existing conditions, lower body resilience, and higher post-accident pain rates, seniors face a unique set of challenges pertaining to automobile accidents.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will take advantage of senior citizens’ conditions and age to try to avoid paying them appropriately for their injuries and claims. This is not ethical, but the companies approach the cases in such a way that disguises the discriminatory nature of these avoidances. Many companies will attempt to use the higher rate of senior pre-existing conditions to claim that the car accident did not cause the injuries. However, a good personal injury attorney will be able to use the law to appropriately refute these evasions and help senior citizens get what they deserve. If you or a loved one are over 62 years of age, there are some important points to be aware of in case of an automobile accident.
Chronic Pain Is Common
Unfortunately, the human body decreases the speed and efficacy with which it heals itself as we age. This means an injury that would heal in six weeks in an adolescent could take six months for a senior citizen. Automobile accidents can easily cause injuries that can last a long time, no matter your age. Ailments like whiplash, back injury, neck injury, or broken bones can affect middle-aged patients for the long term, and these injuries can cause lifelong problems for senior citizens. Many senior citizens report high pain levels post-accident, and nearly 40 percent report ongoing pain that does not subside. Insurance companies can and should be held financially accountable for the level of pain caused by the accident, no matter the victim’s age.
Pre-existing Conditions Will Surface
One of the most biased tactics insurance companies will employ is their claim that pre-existing conditions were the cause of the injury, not the accident. When it comes to senior citizens, insurance companies have a lifetime of medical records to search and often find some way to twist a person’s medical history to fit their story. For this reason, it’s important to know that exacerbation of pre-existing conditions is grounds for compensation. In California, insurance companies are still held responsible if a person’s injuries worsened as the result of an accident for which their client is at fault. Though they may try to bully you or your family into believing that they are not liable, they ultimately must pay.
Remember the Eggshell Plaintiff
In the state of California, there is a legal theory called the Eggshell Plaintiff. This states that a defendant cannot argue that a person’s injuries are due to their own fragility, and if the accident had occurred with a person of a different or stronger body, the victim’s injuries would not have resulted. Essentially, the defendant must work with the plaintiff that they’re given and cannot theorize what would have been different if the person had been different. This can be significant for senior citizens. Under the Eggshell Plaintiff, insurance companies cannot claim that frailty or injury is the main cause of a senior’s injuries. The bottom line is that the situation described is mere fantasy. They must work with the case as it is and the participants as they are.
How an Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, the insurance system often seeks to take advantage of our population’s most vulnerable. In the case of senior citizens, insurance companies rely on their regular tactics, as well as ageist maneuvers, to get out of paying seniors what they’re owed. For these reasons, a personal injury lawyer is of the utmost importance in cases involving a senior citizen. An experienced personal injury or car accident attorney is aware of these tricks but is also aware of the laws that protect seniors. When insurance companies intimidate the injured, a personal injury lawyer steps in to handle the situation and argue the claim with logic instead of manipulation.
For the very best personal injury lawyers in Orange County, look no further than the law offices of Easton & Easton. With over $100 million won for our clients in the last five years alone, we are poised to help you or your loved ones receive the settlement that is deserved. Contact us today for a free consultation.