Accidents Caused by Vision-Impaired Drivers
Vision-impaired drivers can cause accidents on the road. Often, seniors have vision issues and need to restrict their own driving. However, other drivers also have vision problems that may not be addressed. All drivers should have vision tests on an annual basis, as well as hearing tests to make sure that they can see and hear well enough to drive. If you were injured by a driver whom you believe was vision-impaired, you should contact the experienced Chicago car accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.Accidents Caused by Vision-Impaired Drivers
Under Illinois law, drivers are supposed to file a Medical Report Form completed by a doctor when they have any medical or mental condition that could result in a loss of consciousness or a loss of ability to safely drive a vehicle, or when they take medications that could impair their driving ability. Drivers are supposed to resubmit that form each time that they renew a driver's license. Within 10 days of becoming aware of such a condition, a driver is supposed to notify the Secretary of State's Office, and if he does not, his driver's license and driving privileges could be canceled. The office can investigate potential medical conditions that are reported by a licensed doctor, law enforcement officer, or judicial system member.
Additionally, drivers are supposed to meet visual reading requirements of 20/40 acuity with or without corrective lenses. Drivers who have acuity between 20/41 and 20/70 can only drive during daylight hours. A driver needs to have 140-degree peripheral vision in order to have a license that is unrestricted. People who wear telescopic lenses need to meet special requirements and go through added testing to get a license. Some telescopic lens wearers can apply for nighttime driving privileges by submitting a Vision Specialist Report, successfully passing a nighttime road exam, and meeting other requirements.
If you are injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages from that driver by showing negligence. You will need to prove that it is more likely than not that the other driver owed you a duty to drive safely, and their failure to do so caused your injuries. When someone who needs corrective lenses drives without them or fails to report a vision problem that would result in a restrictive license, this is strong evidence of a breach of duty.
When there is a causal connection between a breach of duty and an accident, it may be possible to recover damages. For example, there is likely negligence if a person knows that she has a vision problem and misjudges the distance between your car and hers, resulting in a rear-end collision in which you are injured. Similarly, if a driver has a progressive vision defect and has not renewed a restricted license, and then they improperly judge the space available to pass you, and you wind up injured, it is likely that the court will find that the driver's breach of duty caused your injuries.
Damages that your injury lawyer may be able to recover if you are injured by a vision-impaired driver include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic damages are tangible, often documented losses, such as emergency room bills, medical bills, medication costs, medical equipment, lost wages, property damage, replacement services, and out-of-pocket costs. These damages are usually fairly straightforward to prove because they are documented. Noneconomic damages may include any intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of activities. These are the damages that a jury believes would naturally flow from the types of injuries that you suffered and the sort of person whom you are.Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Lawyer in the Chicago Area
If you were injured by someone whom you suspect is a vision-impaired driver, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can look into what the driver knew about his or her vision impairment and potentially bring a lawsuit on your behalf. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent accident victims in Chicago, Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, Springfield, and Aurora, as well as other areas of Adams, Winnebago, Champaign, Sangamon, Kane, and Cook Counties. You can call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.