The elderly are most at risk for accidents both in and out of an automobile. As drivers, they are unable to react as quickly because their response time has slowed with age or because their arthritis makes it impossible to move as fast. As pedestrians, they may not see the speeding car hurtling toward them, or impatient drivers may hit the elderly. Regardless of the situation, if your grandma (or grandpa) got run over or hit by a vehicle of any kind, you need to take legal action. Here are the legal actions you should pursue with the help of accident attorneys.
Get Personal Guardianship of Grandma/Grandpa
If your grandparent is in really rough shape and is expected to remain in the hospital for some time, see if you can get personal guardianship of him/her. This is a temporary to permanent measure that helps you take care of your injured grandparent while you pursue a lawsuit against the offending driver. It also gives you access to your grandparent's finances and important papers so that you can speak to the insurance companies on your grandparent's behalf, hand documents off to the lawyer, and help pay some of his/her medical bills until the lawsuit is settled.
Get Documents for the Accident
Regardless of whether your grandparent was a fellow driver or a pedestrian, you will still need to get documents for and from the accident. These include medical records and police records. If you cannot get personal guardianship over your grandparent, and if your grandparent is not conscious or lucid enough to sign for and retrieve these documents, your attorney may be able to subpoena the documents directly. A lawsuit against the driver/other driver in this case cannot be pursued without these documents as proof.
Sue the Driver/Other Driver and the Driver's Insurance Company
Because the driver responsible for your grandparent's injuries in the accident should help pay for the pain, suffering, and medical care, sue that person first. In the event that the other party's actions drive up your grandparent's monthly auto premiums, sue the other driver's insurance for the increase to help cover the costs your grandparent faces. These are costs which your grandparent probably cannot afford, given a limited income, so the other party's insurance should cover and make up the loss of income for your grandparent to drive with insurance. If your grandparent decides never to drive again, or the accident has rendered him/her unable to drive due to partial or total paralysis, you can drop the insurance lawsuit and focus on the driver.
For more assistance, contact a lawyer from a firm like Littman & Babiarz Law Office.