Older Virginians over the age of 65 are likely to end up being an increasing percentage of folks hurt in all kinds of accidents including injuries that occur at restaurants, hotels and stores in Virginia. The baby boomers which is the U.S.’s largest age group are starting to fill up the senior citizen bracket. As folks age there are some differences in the kinds of issues that tend to arise in their personal injury cases, as I can attest to having worked on personal injury cases for over 25 years in Virginia.
More fragile and brittle bones particularly among women with osteoporosis is a real issue in slip and fall or trip and fall cases. If you have thinner or weakening bones it is more likely that you are going to end up being more severely injured as a result of a fall. For example the femur bone, the main bone of the human leg, is quite big and typically hard to break but it’s more likely to happen as you get older. Likewise some injuries that may have been easier to heal up from in one’s youth become more challenging with age such as the possibility of a hip fracture. Also with a more elderly person the likelihood of complications in surgery whether stroke or some other secondary effect becomes a bigger issue.
One thing that an elderly person and/or their family should know if they’re involved in a personal injury claim is that they should use Medicare if they have it for their medical bills just like they would if it didn’t involve liability of a store or business. Typically Medicare will be obligated to pay all the bills just like they would normally but they will be required to be paid back some percentage of what they paid out at the end of the case. As an attorney whose firm focuses exclusively on personal injury cases I am very familiar with the issues surrounding Medicare billing in the context of a slip and fall insurance claim and know all the rules about what the paybacks and obligations of the patient/client are. Medicare like other government functions can be slow and a bit complicated to understand.
That’s why it’s helpful to have an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney if you have Medicare and are involved in an accident with an injury claim. I can make sure that you get the right treatment that you need after a slip and fall and that the bills get paid the way they should and that you and I meet all legal obligations as far as reimbursing Medicare and anyone else as required from the proceeds of any personal injury settlement over it.
In the case of wrongful death of a person over age 65 who is retired, it used to be that juries would be less generous with their surviving spouse or adult children because they had already reached relatively old age prior to being hurt and killed in the accident. As everyone is preparing to live longer in the U.S. and to try to enjoy life more fully later in life, I think attitudes are changing a lot. In Virginia we’ve seen some great verdicts where juries have shown quite a lot of understanding about the idea that hurting or causing the death of someone in their later years is really no less terrible than doing the same to them in their prime.
In fact there is an argument to be made that it’s even worse because you’re taking away the golden years when the person after having worked and raised their family were entitled to have some leisure time and enjoyment of life that they had earned through a lifetime of hard work. *Every case is different but we have found that in part by trying to really get to know our clients we can show what a death or injury means to a family in terms of the loss of quality of life and the loss of expectation of quality of life in one’s senior years. If you have been hurt at a business premises due to the fault of another, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.