Elderly drivers tend to get involved in freak accidents where loss of control over the gas pedal is a factor. This often manifests through a car that is speeding out of control due to an accelerator pedal being stuck. Such car accidents are not that rare in California and other states. Although there is a variety of causes for cars racing out of control, against the will of the driver, the event does seem to occur more often when an elderly person is behind the wheel.
For example, on Sept. 3 an elderly driver rampaged his car through the parking lot of the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre while striking a fence, several pedestrians and a parked, unoccupied police vehicle. The impact sent the police car onto a lawn where it struck a group of people who were picnicking. Four of those picnickers were seriously injured by the patrol car. They were rushed to a hospital where they reportedly remained the next morning.
The driver was not suspected of intoxication and was not arrested. That is also typical of similar car accidents, where the driver often does not remember what happened. The cause of this accident remains under investigation, and it is currently unknown if the driver has given a reason for the loss of control.
In California, the reported events give rise to a claim for damages for each victim against the driver. Normally, those hospitalized will have the more significant claims. However, sometimes a victim is not hospitalized after an accident and yet suffers a serious, progressively debilitating injury. Whenever symptoms are experienced after an accident, one should be diligent in seeking medical attention, as the passage of time will make it more difficult to tie the symptoms in with the accident.
After more common types of car accidents, and also after the unique accidents like the one above, it is always advisable to obtain a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. A victim, or family members on his or her behalf, can learn whether a claim is appropriate. They can also learn the steps required to make a claim under California law and procedure.
Source: nbclosangeles.com, “9 Injured in Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Crash During Concert“, Sept. 4, 2016