Car accidents are usually caused by a driver making a careless or negligent choice. Sometimes, however, a crash happens because a driver has a medical episode like a heart attack or a seizure. When this occurs, it is imperative to determine if the incident was simply an unavoidable Act of God for which no one was to blame, or if the driver was negligent for driving despite having a high-risk medical condition.
Cases involving car accidents caused by medical emergency can be complicated. A Long Beach accident lawyer can determine if the at-fault driver was negligent by getting behind the wheel despite knowing the risk of an accident due to medical issues.
Responsibility for Car Accidents Caused By Medical Emergency
After car accidents caused by medical emergency, it needs to be determined if the incident was truly unexpected and unpreventable. If there was no advanced warning, the accident may be considered to have been caused by an Act of God. A driver is no more responsible for an accident caused by an unexpected medical event than he would be responsible for an accident that occurred due to a sudden hurricane that caused his car to crash. A motorist cannot help if he is suddenly struck by a medical emergency that prevents him from driving safely.
Sometimes, however, medical incidents are predictable. A person with a medical condition that can affect safe driving can be held accountable for the negligent decision to get behind the wheel when the risk of a crash was high. In this case, the driver is not being faulted for having a medical problem, but for knowing the problem presented a risk to others and chose to drive anyway.
An example of a case where a driver was held accountable for a crash that occurred due to a medical emergency involved a case reported on by SF Gate. An 80-year-old driver suffered a seizure and blacked out, driving into another man’s home. The homeowner was home at the time of the accident and was killed. His family made a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death case settled for $1.4 million, which was paid by the insurance company of the driver who had the seizure. The driver, who had experienced blackouts in the past, surrendered his license after causing the deadly crash.
How to Determine if a Defendant is Liable
Drivers are not necessarily prevented from driving because they have medical problems. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles explains the rules for when a motorist can maintain a valid license when suffering from a disorder that can cause a lapse of consciousness.
The key factor in determining if an at-fault driver is liable for car accidents caused by medical emergency is whether the driver had knowledge of the medical condition and assumed the risk by driving anyway. If an accident victim can prove the at-fault driver’s decision to get behind the wheel was negligent in light of the risks, the victim can seek compensation for losses the crash caused.
Getting Help Proving Responsibility for Car Accidents Caused By Medical Emergency
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
As a Long Beach personal injury lawyer who only represents accident victims, I am serious about helping clients get the compensation they deserve. When a crash is caused by a medical emergency I can determine if the driver was negligent. If so, I will get you the compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries.
I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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