Car accidents can be devastating and result in critical injuries. If a collision is caused by someone else, you may be able to get compensation for the costs of the accident. But what if the accident happened because of a health condition or emergency that the other driver had?
Here’s what to know about car accident liability in light of medical conditions that inadvertently cause a motor vehicle collision.
Health Conditions That May Cause Car Accidents
Unfortunately, there are a number of health conditions that can cause a motor vehicle accident when you least expect it, like:
- Epilepsy and other types of seizure disorders
- Eye problems, including low vision
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Heart attack or stroke
- Mental conditions like depression and anxiety
A car crash can easily be caused if a driver has a stroke or a seizure behind the wheel, or if their blood sugar is too high and they lose consciousness. Or, say a person is trying to eat their lunch quickly on the way back to work and begins to choke on a piece of food.
While it might seem untoward to seek compensation from someone whose health condition caused a collision, your other option is to pay for the damages yourself and take the financial losses.
For many people, this just isn’t possible regardless of whether or not they want to file a claim against someone with a medical issue. And keep in mind that most likely, it’s their insurance company that will end up cutting you a check. More often than not, drivers who are at fault for an accident don’t have to personally pay for it, no matter what the reason was.
Finding Out If A Medical Condition Caused Your Crash
If you suspect that a medical condition is responsible for the collision, you’ll need to put together as much evidence as possible. It’s important to show what happened just before the accident, who was located where during the initial impact, and other critical details that can help authorities piece together how the incident occurred.
You may also need to get proof of the driver’s medical history, but this can be extremely difficult if they haven’t volunteered any information. You likely won’t be able to get access to any formal medical records.
Witness testimony becomes highly valuable in a case like this and people who saw the accident may be able to testify that they saw the driver slump over or start shaking before the crash. Friends and family of the driver could also be willing to offer a statement to help keep their loved one and others safe when they’re on the road.
When Is A Driver Liable?
Whether or not the driver who caused your accident is liable gets a little more difficult to prove when there’s a medical issue at hand. Sometimes, drivers truly aren’t at fault while in other cases, they could have managed their health condition more responsibly so there wasn’t as much risk of causing an accident.
For example, if a driver had a sudden heart attack while they were driving, it’s probably not something they could have foreseen or prevented. However, if the driver had been previously cautioned against driving by their physician due to the risk of having a heart attack or passing out while operating their vehicle, they may be considered negligent.
Or, if a driver had a mental health condition that caused them to purposely drive their car into yours in an effort to harm or kill themselves, they would be at fault and could even be charged with a crime.
That said, you may still be able to get compensation even if the accident was actually an accident. You can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier for your related expenses regardless of why or how they caused the accident. If you have coverage for underinsured or uninsured motorists, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurer too.
Getting Legal Help After A Car Accident
If you were involved in a car crash caused by someone else, whether or not a medical condition played a part, you shouldn’t have to be the one to foot the bill. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, our legal expertise can help you collect the compensation you deserve after an accident that left you or a loved one injured.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and learn how a qualified car accident lawyer can assist you. Call now by dialing our Salem, MA office at (978) 744-8000 or toll free at (855) 693-9084.