In some cases, a driver could cause a car accident not due to negligence, but because of a medical condition. Seizures, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes are a few of the medical problems that a person could experience when causing a wreck. Who compensates the victims who suffer catastrophic injuries or death in these situations?
Is a Negligent Driver Liable to Accident Victims If He Causes an Accident Due to a Medical Condition?
A person experiencing a seizure, heart attack, stroke, or other medical condition while driving could lose consciousness or be unable to focus on his driving due to the symptoms he experiences. Even the side effects of medications can affect a person’s reasoning ability and reaction time when driving. These guidelines apply when determining whether or not the driver would be considered negligent and responsible for compensating an accident victim:
- The determination as to whether the condition caused the accident will be based in part on the type of impairment the driver suffers with. A minor impairment, such as high blood pressure or a sinus infection, may not be a contributing factor in the crash—despite the negligent driver’s claims that it caused the wreck. However, having a seizure, stroke, or heart attack could.
- If a driver knew or should have known about his medical condition at the time of the crash, he could be found negligent if his medical condition caused or contributed to the wreck. He may be considered negligent for failing to take necessary precautions to prevent an accident or driving when he knew or should have known that it was not safe to do so. For example, he may not be permitted to drive if he suffers from epilepsy.
- In limited circumstances when the driver truly had no knowledge of his medical condition and it was not foreseeable, he may be able to raise the emergency medical condition defense to avoid liability.
Is the negligent driver who caused your injuries claiming that a medical condition he suffers from caused your accident? An experienced car accident attorney can help you refute this claim or show that he failed to take necessary safety precautions. To discuss your situation and your legal options, fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.