What Happens When Seniors Are Injured?

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by | Nov 29, 2017 | Personal Injury

As a Kansas City injury lawyer over the past 25 years, I have handled hundreds of cases in which seniors have been negligently injured. While many of those cases are the result of a motor vehicle accident, I also have represented quite a few seniors who have been victim of a slip and fall or other types of accidents.

Without exception, I believe insurance companies discount bodily injury claims of people age 65 and over. This discount I refer to is born out of the fact that insurance companies routinely justify lower settlement offers to seniors by taking the position that pre-existing medical conditions or a pre-existing injury is a significant factor in causing the new injury.

However, seniors and their families should be aware that discounting an injury because of a pre-existing medical condition or injury is against what the state law provides. Missouri, Kansas, and other states recognize what is referred as the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine.  The application of this doctrine in the legal process means that someone who causes another injury, takes their victim like they find them. In other words, a defendant must take responsibility for the full harm they caused even though the harm may not have been foreseeable.

While the Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine is helpful, injured seniors have much to gain with legal representation. From my standpoint as an injury lawyer who regularly represents elderly plaintiffs, my first responsibility is to make sure that my senior client is receiving the best possible medical care and rehabilitation. From there, it is my larger responsibility to making sure my senior client receives a maximum financial recovery. This means that they will receive a settlement that reimburses them for the full and fair value for all of their losses, including their non-economic losses. When I refer to non-economic loss, I am specifically referring to damages to compensate seniors for their loss of health, loss of mobility, and loss of quality of life.

In handling an injury claim for a senior, I put a lot of emphasis on presenting evidence comparing their life before and after the injury. In many cases, I am able to establish that my senior client was active, their pain and discomfort was being controlled, and they were living a very good quality of life within the constraints of their age and infirmities. However, after a senior is traumatized by an unforeseen injury, we usually see a dramatic change of life. No longer can an injured senior stay active. In fact, they may be confined to home and are at substantial risk for losing all mobility (which is one of the keys to good health). In most cases they no longer are able to control pain and discomfort. When you add everything up, seniors who suffer injury have a diminished quality of life which will likely carry on indefinitely.

If you know of a senior who is facing an injury claim, there is a good chance they will benefit from legal protection. The first step toward providing seniors with the protection they deserve involves legal consultation. In this regard, I am happy to provide legal consultation to family members free of charge. If you believe I can help, contact me at dhorn@hornlaw.com.