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Do older drivers face higher risks in car accidents?

Everybody is different, and these differences are to be celebrated among Baltimore residents. And yet, no matter how different individuals may be from one another, there are certain events that can make individuals come together or sympathize with one another.

When a person is injured in an auto accident, the injuries take center stage, as opposed to any differences one injured person may have from another. For example, while one person may suffer from a certain medical condition that another does not have, both persons are entitled to damages if they are injured in a car accident because of another person's negligence.

Indeed, anyone can become a victim of another motorist's negligence. Last week, this blog discussed how older drivers may have decreased abilities that can lead to injuries to others on the road. But it is important to recognize that older drivers can be victims of someone else's negligence as well.

The numbers bear this out as well. Every day, an average of 586 older adults suffer injuries in car accidents. More than 5,560 older adults were killed in car accidents in 2012, along with 214,000 who were inured that year.

Older drivers have increased risks in car accidents as well, because of their increased susceptibility to injury and medical complications as compared with other drivers. Accordingly, even a relatively minor car accident can turn very serious for older drivers who are injured in the crash.

These issues, including whether an older driver had a preexisting condition that was worsened after the crash, often become issues of damages. In other words, the amount of compensation the injured person obtains may depend in part on these factors. However, these issues do not typically impact liability, as the other driver's negligence can be established regardless of the particular damages at issue.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Older drivers," accessed on Aug. 22, 2015

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