Four people were injured when a car driven by an elderly driver crashed into Polly’s Pies restaurant in Laguna Hills the afternoon of September 22, 2014.
According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the crash occurred after an 88-year-old woman drove through a window on the side of the restaurant at 23701 Moulton Parkway.
The vehicle, a white Toyota Corolla, crashed into a
table where a mother and her son were having lunch.
An 88-year-old woman sitting at the table suffered head injuries and a 68-year-old man sustained back injuries. Both were transported to a regional trauma center. Another elderly woman sitting at a different table suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital. The driver was also hospitalized with injuries. Officials said the driver was in the parking lot at Polly’s and accidentally put the car into drive instead of reverse and then hit the gas pedal.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was injured in this car accident. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. It is indeed fortunate that no one was fatally injured in this incident.
Statistics Relating to Elderly Drivers
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2008, more than 5,500 older adults were killed and 183,000 injured in car accidents. This amounts to 15 older adults killed and 500 injured in crashes on average every day.
In 2009, there were 33 million licensed older drivers in, which is a 23 percent increase from 1999. As Baby Boomers age, this number is set to increase.
Caused and Compensation Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the elderly driver in this case put the car to drive instead of reverse and then panicked and hit the gas pedal. The way in which this crash occurred is common to many similar vehicle-in-building accidents involving elderly drivers that our legal practice has seen.
We trust officials are looking into what caused this elderly driver to make this mistake. In such cases it is common for officials to investigate whether the individual should continue to drive, if prescription medication was involved and whether poor vision or loss of driving ability contributed to the incident.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation from the at-fault parties for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will be able to stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the victims’ rights and best interests are protected.