Car Accidents Caused by Medical Conditions – Is the Affected Driver at Fault?
In many car accidents it can be easy to determine who is responsible for causing it. Especially when there are factors involved such as driving under the influence of alcohol, driving at excessive speed, passing a stop, etc.
However, when a driver is involved in an accident as a result of a medical emergency, determining liability becomes complicated.
These types of situations are not as clear cut as the previous ones, if the accident is caused by an undiagnosed medical condition. What makes these cases more complicated is that there really is no standard method for determining fault in such a situation.
Each case has specific circumstances that are unique, including how critical the medical condition was to cause the accident, the severity of the victims’ injuries, and whether there was willful negligence on the part of the driver.
Reasonable duty of care
If a driver has a sudden medical condition, such as a heart attack, seizure, or stroke, they may not be able to control their vehicle and may not be able to avoid an accident. In these cases, the driver may not be held fully responsible for the accident, since he was not in control of his powers at the time.
On the other hand, this does not mean that the driver is completely blameless. If the driver knows that he has a medical condition that could affect his ability to drive safely, and still chooses to drive, he could be held negligent and liable for any accident. Similarly, if the driver knows that he has a medical condition that he needs to attend to, and does not take prescribed medication or follow medical advice, he may be held liable for the accident.
This is because drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle, and driving while knowing that you have a medical condition that could affect your ability to do so could be considered a breach of that duty.
In cases where a driver causes an accident due to a known medical condition, the injured parties may take legal action against the driver to recover damages. The driver may be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.
It is important to note that in some cases drivers may be required by law to report certain medical conditions to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or licensing authority. Failure to do so could result in legal penalties, such as fines or even the suspension of your driver’s license.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident where the other driver had a medical emergency, and you don’t know what to do, contact us today. At the Nourmand law firm we can help you!