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January 14, 2019

Older Than 50? You’re More Likely to Experience Worse Injuries After an Accident

Morrin Law Office

For most people, minor accidents such as very low impact car accidents and minimal damage slip and falls don’t result in any major injuries. However, as people age, even small accidents can turn into life altering events if the proper medical care is not immediately obtained, and sometimes even if it is. This is due to the fact that injuries to older individuals, those over 50, have a much more devastating effect on the patient. It’s also due to the fact that most folks 50 and older take considerably longer to recover from any injury.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year because of a fall injury; most commonly due to a head injury or a hip fracture.  It is well documented that seniors are much more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries when they are involved in car accidents, especially as pedestrians or while riding their bicycle.


Recovering from a Car Accident After Age 50

After a car accident, everybody should be first examined by a Medical Doctor before seeing any other medical care professional. The insurance company will expect you to do this and will use your failure to do this as an excuse to pay you less. Those over the age of 50 should make sure they seek immediate treatment because they are likely going to have the hardest time recovering from a car wreck. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the second-most common cause of injury to seniors.


One reason for this is because as the body ages, it naturally becomes more frail, and the bones more brittle. What may only result in a sprain for a younger person could result in several broken bones in a person 50 years of age or older.


In addition, the older an immune system is, the less capable it is of fighting off disease, injury, and infection. Burns, which are fairly common after a car accident, are one example of this. While younger age groups have stem cells readily available that aid with healing the skin, those over the age of 50 have far fewer. This means they could potentially have complications such as an infection after a severe burn, or that it could simply take much longer to recover from a burn after a certain age.


Other medical conditions are also more present in those over the age of 50. This includes diabetes and heart disease, which can also cause complications after an auto accident. These can interfere with a person’s ability to recover from injuries sustained during an accident. These conditions are also not found in younger age groups as often as they are in older individuals.


Recovering from a Slip and Fall After 50

While car accidents can be particularly dangerous for those over the age of 50, slip and falls can also be particularly dangerous for those over the age of 50. As a person ages, the risks associated with falling, and the complications associated with it, become even greater. In fact, the CDC states that falls are the leading cause of injuries and death among older Americans.


As a person continues to age, the danger of falls becomes even greater. In a study published in The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, it was found that adults over the age of 70 that fall from ground level are much more likely to sustain serious injury afterward. The same study also found that those over the age of 70 are less likely to survive a fall, even when they did not fall from a height.


The reasons for severe injury after a fall are very similar to the severity of injuries after a car accident. Older individuals are more likely to have other medical conditions that can interfere with their recovery. In addition, their bones are more brittle and so, much more likely to break in the event of a fall.


Medicaid or Medicare

Approximately 15% of the population is enrolled in Medicare and the vast majority of those enrolled are age 65 or older. If you have Medicare or Medicaid and receive benefits to treat your injuries after a car accident then you will be required by law to repay what is covered by Medicare or Medicaid.  If you retain the services of an injury recovery professional who handles cases involving Medicare or Medicaid every day then your personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate the amount you are required to pay and save you thousands of dollars that can be used for necessary future care.  More times than not there is a limited amount of insurance available and it rarely covers a lifetime of necessary care. Saving thousands by hiring the right car accident lawyer in Kentucky can amount to comfort vs. pain, quicker recovery vs. longer recovery, and sometimes even the difference between having the funds necessary to make a full recovery vs. a partial recovery.


To handle such repayment claims the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have established a process for opening up a reimbursement claim.  When you have competent professional helping you (someone who handles injury claims every day compared to a “general practitioner”) then you will usually be able to secure a reduction in any amount Medicare or Medicaid demands you to repay, and, if the circumstances warrant, sometimes a complete waiver is possible so that you will not be required to repay anything at all.  It is unusual for a waiver to be granted without the help of a professional.  Hiring the correct professional to represent you in your claim can be essential to avoiding litigation and saving thousands compared to representing yourself or hiring the same attorney who prepared your will to handle your injury claim.


The Importance of Speaking to a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer

It is important that anyone injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, speak to a personal injury lawyer in Kentucky right away. However, it is of particular importance for those aged 50 and over. The injuries for this age group can be far more severe, and they are also more likely to encounter different risks and complications arising from their injuries. Injuries to this age group can also take much longer to recover from, leaving those injured dealing with the consequences, including the financial burden of such injuries, for potentially years to come.


If you have been injured in an accident, call the Morrin Law Office at (859) 358-0300 or find us online to get a free case evaluation, even if you’re not sure whose fault it was. We know how devastating even minor injuries can be after a certain age, and we want to help you get back on the road to living your best life possible. Contact us today for a 100% RISK FREE claim evaluation so we can start helping you get back to your best health and best life.

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