What to Do When a Medical Emergency Causes You to Wreck

More often than not, there are quite a few variables that exist when it comes to determining the cause of a car accident. Maybe the driver swerved to avoid getting hit by another vehicle or perhaps there were poor road conditions.

Add on a pre-existing medical condition, however, and an entirely new can of worms opens up.

Poor eyesight, diabetes, heart disease, and seizures are all medical conditions that can possibly lead to a car accident. Determining the party at fault is usually tricky.

So, who’s liable?
Since factors are varied and individual cases are so different, no set standard exists to determine which party is at fault. However, it should be noted that whether or not there was prior knowledge of the medical condition is key.

If a driver knows he or she needs to take medicine in order to keep focus and cognitive functions in tip-top shape, failure to do so will lead the judge to determine if the negligence was or wasn’t intentional.

For example, if a person is taking blood thinners to avoid heart attacks, but one morning fails to do so and causes a wreck, the judge may see this as negligence depending on other surrounding circumstances.

No prior knowledge
Along with the driver’s testimony, the judge will also question experts in the medical field, such as cardiologists and neurologists, to determine if the person with the medical condition should have had prior knowledge of their condition or not.

If there’s no knowledge of the condition prior to the accident, individuals can defend themselves under the “sudden emergency doctrine.”

For example, if a driver were to experience a sudden loss of control or blackout with no warning, the judge might be more likely to sympathize with the driver who caused the wreck if it were the first time a driver had experienced this condition.

Call the professionals
In any similar case, it’s best to get a professional involved who can help you navigate these legal grey areas. With so many variables, it can be difficult to defend yourself on your own.

George Lorenzo has been practicing law for nearly 30 years. He is a co-founder of Lorenzo & Lorenzo, a Tampa, FL personal injury law, specializing in auto accidents cases and more.

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