An elderly couple killed in a highway auto accident was discovered amid the crash wreckage holding hands. When they were found, Floyd Nordhagen, 92, was already dead and his wife, Margaret, 88, died shortly after.
According to the New York Post (10.16.13) the Nordhagens were killed when their car pulled out in front of an oncoming pick-up truck. A family friend was quoted in the NYP saying she believed Floyd made a mistake and “maybe he misjudged the speed.”
The couple was from Washington State and known “for their devotion to each other,” reported the New York Post.
The Nordhagens had celebrated 68 years of marriage in July.
Older people and auto accident injuries and fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatal crash rates increase for people ages 75 and older. The rates then increase significantly after age 80, per mile traveled. More than 5,500 adults ages 65 and older died and more than 183,000 were injured in vehicular crashes in 2008. In other words, an average of 15 older adults was killed and 500 others were injured in crashes every day.
The majority of 2008 vehicular deaths involving older drivers involved other vehicles (69%). Most of the traffic fatalities also happened during the daytime (80%) and on weekdays (72%).
Research has shown that, over time, the vision and cognitive functioning of older drivers may decline. Seniors may also suffer a loss in reaction time, slowing their ability to react effectively to a sudden hazard on the road. Some older adult drivers develop medical complications that increase the likelihood they will be involved in a crash.
Compensation and justice for auto accidents involving senior drivers in New York
Despite the statistics, accidents are not always the fault of older adults. However, those seniors who are involved in an auto crash may suffer serious or fatal injuries, significant ongoing medical issues and a reduction in their quality of life. Older adults take longer to heal, have a greater chance of medical complications and may be unable to withstand the rigors of surgery and/or other medical treatment.
Accident cases may be complicated if the victim is retired. If someone is no longer earning a living and collecting wages, an insurance company may not offer fair compensation. This is why older people involved in auto accidents should be represented by an experienced law firm.
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.
Individuals who were injured in an auto accident caused by a senior driver should consult with an experienced auto accident attorney. Damages that may be recovered include medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering. If a loved one died as a result of an auto accident injury, lawyers at The Perecman Firm can seek survivor’s damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.