When a Medical Condition Causes a Car Accident

young man having a heart attack while driving

Car accidents are an unfortunately prevalent part of society and happen for a wide variety of reasons. There are roughly 48.3 million injuries caused by crashes each year in the United States, costing around 9 billion dollars. Fault in these accidents is often easy to determine, but some cases aren’t as cut and dry.

Take the case of an accident caused by a medical condition. While it might make sense that a legally blind person cannot operate a vehicle, what about a sudden heart attack or diabetic shock? Car accidents caused by medical conditions break down into two categories, those caused by sudden issues and those that are foreseeable.

Sudden Medical Emergencies

Drivers can be relieved from liability, in many cases, when their medical condition was an emergency. They weren’t acting negligently, they simply has something happen that they could not control. A sudden loss of consciousness caused by a medical condition is an excellent example.

In that scenario, the driver had no prior knowledge of a condition that could cause them to lose consciousness. They weren’t drinking or taking drugs, prescription or otherwise, that could affect their ability to operate a vehicle.

Whatever the condition may be, it came on suddenly and was the cause of the accident. Proving this in court can be challenging, which is why you’ll need the help of experienced legal aid like this car accident lawyer in San Francisco. However, these instances are something that no one could have prevented at the time.

Foreseen Medical Emergencies

In determining fault in the midst of a medical condition, the court will determine if the result was foreseeable. If the driver lost consciousness because of a sudden drop in blood pressure, the question becomes whether they had a history of heart issues or syncopal episodes.

They may have known to keep their blood sugar up, or a doctor may have instructed them not to drive. The same can be true for a diabetic who knew they needed to eat something or potentially experience a loss of consciousness.

When the condition is known to the driver and can be prevented, it’s considered foreseeable and places the driver at fault. Many conditions mean drivers need to give up their licenses, too. In those cases. the driver is absolutely at fault.

Any of the above counts as negligence, which is the determining factor of fault in the majority of car accident cases. Again, you’ll need experienced legal aid to navigate this web of legality as you prove to the court the instance was well beyond your control.

Your Insurance Company

In no-fault and fault states, your insurance is the source of payment for an accident. You may need to do so even if you prove a sudden medical emergency, which would simply cover the legal trouble of a crash. Speak with your attorney about how to navigate your insurance in these instances, as it can be tricky to see proper payout or not be taken advantage of as coverage takes place and premiums rise.

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