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Ventura Car Accident Caused by Elderly Driver

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A male employee at a restaurant suffered serious burn injuries in a Ventura car accident after an elderly woman crashed into the front of the restaurant and hit a deep fryer. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, the worker was hospitalized with burns over 60 percent of his body. The car crash occurred the morning of August 15, 2009 in Thousand Oaks, California. Apparently, the woman who was driving through the parking lot hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. The employee was struck by hot oil from the deep fryer that was knocked over in the car crash. The woman, whose age and identity are still unknown, could face charges because of the serious injuries, officials said.

My heart goes out to the restaurant employee who has suffered severe and painful personal injury as a result of this California car accident. His road to recovery will very likely be long and traumatic. I wish him the very best for a complete recovery. Please keep him in your prayers.

The Issue of Elderly Drivers

The big question here is what caused the elderly woman to lose control of her vehicle. Why did she mistake the gas pedal for the brake? Was it a genuine mistake? Was she under the influence of prescription drugs? Was she disoriented or otherwise incapacitated or unable to drive? Did she have a valid driver’s license? Was she even supposed to drive? Based on this newspaper report, which states the woman could be facing charges, it appears that officials have decided she was somehow careless or negligent here.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, California now has almost 3 million drivers who are 65 years or older. Over the next few decades, that number will only go higher. According to a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65. This study’s results were based on data gathered between 1999 and 2004. From ages 75 to 84, the rate of about three deaths per 100 million miles driven is equal to the death rate of teenage drivers in the nation.

These numbers cause significant concern at a time when the U.S. Census Bureau projects there will be 9.6 million people 85 and older by the year 2030, up 73 percent from today. Road safety analysts also predict that when all baby boomers are at least 65, they will be responsible for 25 percent of all fatal crashes. In 2005, 11 percent of fatal car accidents in the United States involved drivers 65 or older.

California Personal Injury Lawyer

The employee in this case will likely get workers compensation benefits from his employer. But he should certainly consult an experienced California personal injury lawyer to find out about a third-party claim here. In this case, such a claim could be filed against the driver if it can be proved that her negligence caused this serious car accident.

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