Vehicle accidents are usually caused by the careless or negligent actions of one or more drivers on the roadway. However, that is not always the case. There are times when vehicle accidents occur that are caused by one driver experiencing a serious medical condition behind the wheel. Accidents that occur when a medical emergency happens can have the same devastating effects on others on the roadway. Here, we want to discuss the types of medical emergencies that can cause vehicle accidents as well as how compensation is paid out to the victims in these situations.
What Type of Medical Condition Can Cause a Vehicle Accident?
Even though most accidents are caused by driver negligence, medical conditions can certainly lead to severe crashes on the roadway. Anytime a person experiences a medical condition that alters their level of consciousness or causes a significant amount of pain, an accident could occur. There are various types of medical conditions that can make it unsafe for a person to operate a vehicle, including the following:
- Cardiovascular diseases, including strokes and heart attacks
- Diabetes, which can lead to low blood sugar
- Seizure disorders
- Respiratory diseases
- Poor eyesight
States across the country do place limitations on drivers who have certain types of pre-existing conditions that could impact their driving abilities. However, that will only help when a medical condition is known to the driver. It is not uncommon for drivers to be unaware that they have a medical condition that could lead to a crash until the crash actually occurs.
Who Will be Liable for These Accidents?
Determining liability for a crash caused by a medical condition, such as lowered blood sugar, a heart attack, or respiratory distress, can be challenging.
What we will find is that insurance carriers will handle these incidents on a case-by-case basis. For example, the insurance carrier will have to determine whether or not there was any intentional negligence on the driver’s part in these situations.
If a driver has a seizure disorder and they are aware of the condition, yet they choose to operate the vehicle anyway, knowing that a seizure could occur and cause a crash, this could be considered intentional negligence. The driver with the medical condition could be held personally responsible for the crash.
Determining fault for crashes caused by the pre-existing medical condition would likely require testimony from various medical experts who can examine the driver’s medical records and determine whether or not the driver was aware that their condition could cause a crash. If the driver was aware of their medical condition, they could be held partially or completely responsible for the incident.
Additionally, insurance carriers or a personal injury jury will have to look at how much the driver’s medical condition contributed to the actual crash. For example, it could be the case that a pre-existing condition had nothing to do with the vehicle accident. If a person with low blood sugar is involved in a crash in Pennsylvania, but it is determined that a little blood sugar did not contribute to the impact, then that driver will not be held responsible.
Working With a Skilled Lawyer
If you or somebody you care about is involved in a crash caused by a driver experiencing a medical condition, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A Philadelphia car accident attorney will be able to conduct a complete investigation into your case and gather the evidence necessary to prove liability. An attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance carriers involved and will have no problem taking the case to trial if necessary.