An elderly couple died holding hands following a fatal auto accident in Washington State. Floyd Nordhagen, 92, was already dead and his wife, Margaret, 88, died shortly after, said NBC News (10.16.13). Even though this is a tragic, said story, at least they were together, said David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm.
Margaret Nordhagen was alive and responsive when medical workers arrived at the scene. A trooper said that they had to “ask her to let go of him” so that her husband’s body could be removed from the wreckage, reported NBC News.
According to NBC News the Nordhagens were killed when their car pulled out of a store parking lot in front of an oncoming pick-up truck on a state highway. The Nordhagens were married for 68 years.
Statistics from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA 2008) show that fatal crash rates increase for people ages 75 and older, per mile traveled. The rates notably rise after age 80. Over 5,500 adults ages 65 and older were killed in vehicular crashes in 2008. More than 183,000 were injured in the same time period. The average number of deaths among older adults per day was 15 and 500 were injured. The majority of these vehicular deaths involved other vehicles (69%).
Research has shown that older drivers may experience a decline in their vision and cognitive functioning over time. Seniors may also suffer a loss in reaction time. This means they may be slower to react effectively to a sudden hazard on the road. Medical complications may also increase the likelihood that older adult drivers will be involved in a car accident.
Despite the statistics, older adults are not always at fault for the vehicular accidents they are involved in. However, seniors who are in an auto crash have a higher risk for medical complications and may take a longer time to heal.
Accident cases may be complicated if the victim is no longer working. If someone is retired and has no lost income, an insurance company may not offer fair compensation. This is why older people should be represented by an experienced lawyer in the event of an auto accident. For those who are in an accident where a senior driver is at fault, an investigation can measure the level of incapacity of impairment of the driver. Proving the causes of the accident can assist an injury victim in recovering the compensation she or he deserves.
Damages that may be recovered include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one is an elderly driver involved in an auto accident or someone who has been seriously injured in an auto accident caused by a senior driver, contact the auto accident attorneys at The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.