This week I helped settle a case for a client who was riding his bike home from the beach when he was hit head on by a little old lady too old to drive. Her license was taken away two months before when the state of Florida DMV decided, after looking at her medical records, that she was impaired. The state had been monitoring her medical records since 2004 when she was 86. The accident happened in 2010 when she was 92, and had poor eyesight among other things.
This is the first time I had ever been in a case when the defendant was too old to drive. I filed suit because she ignored my “Dear Defendant” letter. I found out she had an insurance policy and a little bird told me she was the beneficiary of a big trust. I was suspicious about her driving ability so I subpoenaed her medical records. I was amazed at what her doctors’ were reporting. One doctor was frustrated that she was still driving, and had sent her to a neurologist to check out her fainting spells.
Although it took five years to yank her license, it was finally done. In Florida a person who loses their license can file and appeal but she did not do so. Problem was she continued to drive, and sadly, two months after losing her license, caused a head on collision with my client. He was on his bike. Guess who won? He almost lost an arm and a leg!
When a person who KNOWS they are subject to sudden temporary situations which make them unsafe drivers, they are guilty of gross negligence. A person guilty of gross negligence like this little old lady can be subject to punitive damages on top of the medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.