Personal Injury Claims: Advice for Seniors

The first member of the baby-boom generation turned 65 years of age a decade ago in 2011. According to the most recent census, the 65-and-older segment of the population increased by almost 13.8 million people during the past 10 years. Aging brings with it the opportunity to slow down and have time to spend with family and to enjoy life. It also brings with it an increase in the risk of being the victim of an accidental injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that three million adults who are 65 years of age or older seek treatment each year for injuries caused by falls. Falls account for 32,000 deaths of older adults each year.

The following advice may be helpful for seniors injured in a fall, motor vehicle crash, or other type of accident. It explains the causes of personal injuries and what seniors can do to receive compensation through a personal injury claim.

Negligence and personal injuries

Personal injury or torts is an area of the law focusing on compensating people injured through the negligence or misconduct of others. You may be injured in a fall caused by tripping over your untied shoelace, but it would not entitle you to compensation because it was not caused by the action or failure to act of another party.

Personal injury law holds people to a standard of care that basically requires that they do not engage in behavior that causes injury to others. The owner of your local grocery store has a duty to maintain the aisles and other areas of the store in such a way as to prevent injuries to customers and others lawfully in it.

Allowing liquid from a broken bottle to remain on the floor of an aisle would be a breach of this duty of care. Someone slipping and falling because of the spillage may have a personal injury claim for damages based on the negligence of the store owner.

Negligence is the existence of a legal duty of care, a breach of the duty, an injury caused by the breach of duty, and damages suffered by the person who was injured. The operator of a motor vehicle has a duty of care toward all other people using the roads and highways to obey the law and operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Speeding or driving while distracted breach the duty of care and could make the motorist liable for injuries caused to a pedestrian in a crosswalk who was struck when the car failed to yield.

Common causes of personal injuries in seniors

As previously mentioned, falls represent the greatest threat to the health and well-being of seniors. A fall caused by a broken step, ice or snow left to accumulate on a sidewalk or other unsafe or dangerous condition caused by owners failing to maintain their property may give rise to a claim for damages caused by a fall. Other common causes of personal injuries in seniors may include the following:

  • Car and motor vehicle accidents.
  • Bus and public transit accidents.
  • Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles and bicycles.
  • Bicycle riders struck by other vehicles.
  • Medical malpractice, including doctor negligence and pharmacist negligence.
  • Product liability claims due to defective consumer products.
  • Dog bites.
  • Nursing home abuse.
  • Nursing home negligence.

Seniors, particularly those dependent on other people for their care, who become victims of physical and emotional abuse or neglect may have a personal injury claim against the offender. Even though it may result in the filing of criminal charges against the party responsible for it, assaultive conduct permits the victim to sue the offender for damages as a personal injury claim in civil court.

How to file a personal injury claim for damages

Seniors who suffer injuries caused by the negligence or intentional conduct of another party should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Each state limits the time an injured person has within which to file a personal injury claim. Miss the deadline and your right to compensation can be lost.

Besides ensuring that a claim for damages is filed on time, other benefits of using a personal injury attorney to handle your claim include:

  • Investigation of the claim to gather evidence to prove fault and damages.
  • Preparation of pleadings in the case and filing them with the appropriate court.
  • Handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies and defense lawyers for the at-fault parties.
  • Provide advice and guidance to the injured party.
  • Determine the value of the personal injury claim to prevent settling for less than what the injured party is entitled to receive.

Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation for a senior to use as a resource for information about whether a claim exists and the best way to proceed with it.


Author’s Bio:

Jared Stern is an experienced financial professional with six years of experience in the pre-settlement funding industry. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in economics in 2014, Jared began his career in Morgan Stanley's mergers and acquisitions investment banking division. After working with another pre-settlement funding company for two years, Jared founded Uplift Legal Funding in 2017 to give injured plaintiffs a better choice in lawsuit loans.


Be the first to commment on this article.

Post a Comment