Car Accidents Caused By Medical Conditions
In some cases, it’s easy to identify the cause of a car accident. A driver was drunk or not following traffic laws. Someone was driving while texting or talking on the phone.
However, some car crashes are caused by medical conditions. A person may have a chronic condition that can cause them to lose control at any time. In some cases, though, a driver may experience a sudden medical emergency. Studies show that drivers with conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and alcoholism cause twice as many crashes as those without these medical conditions.
Common Medical Conditions Linked to Car Accidents
Some medical issues can cause car crashes. They include the following:
- Loss of consciousness. A person who suffers from a seizure, faints, or loses consciousness in some other way while driving can lose control of the vehicle and cause a serious car accident.
- Vertigo and other illnesses can cause a person to suddenly feel dizzy. This can make it difficult for them to stay upright and continue driving.
- Mental illnesses. A person’s mental status could suddenly change while driving, causing them to lose judgment and become more reckless behind the wheel.
- A person who is eating while driving could choke, causing them to lose control. Choking is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death.
- Severe pain. A person who is suffering from extreme pain may not be able to focus on driving, causing them to drift into an adjacent lane or off the road.
When determining liability, a judge will look at several factors. Did the driver have a pre-existing medical condition? If so, were they intentionally negligent by not properly monitoring their condition to protect others. The judge will also look at the severity of the medical condition and the damages involved.
In short, the legal responsibility is apt to be much higher for someone who has a known seizure disorder and has failed to maintain medications necessary to avoid seizures than for a driver A person who suffers a heart attack or other sudden medical emergency will have less legal responsibility than someone with diabetes or a seizure disorder who fails to properly care for themselves or take medications.
Medical emergencies fall under the sudden emergency defense. However, it must be proven that another reasonable driver would have reacted the same way in the same emergency. There must be evidence of the four main elements.
- There was an unexpected emergency.
- The emergency was not the driver’s fault.
- The emergency was one in which a reasonable person would have responded immediately.
- The driver acted like a reasonable person would have in the same situation.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Car crashes can happen for many reasons. A medical condition, whether chronic or emergency, can cause a person to lose control and cause a serious accident.
No matter the cause of your car accident, the Houston auto accident attorneys at the West Law Office, PLLC can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages. Let us assess your case today. Fill out the online form or call 281-347-3247 to schedule a free consultation.