If you’ve been involved in a collision where the other driver suffered a medical emergency, you might wonder about your rights and options. Despite the involuntary nature of these situations, you might still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Car crashes caused by medical conditions bring up complex questions about liability. When a driver’s health issue, such as a seizure or heart attack, leads to an accident, it can be challenging to determine who is responsible for the resulting injuries.
A Michigan car crash lawyer from Fieger Law can help determine if the negligent driver was aware of their condition or took appropriate measures to prevent harm to others on the road.
Medical Conditions That Can Cause a Car Crash
Several medical conditions can cause a vehicle accident. Some, like epilepsy, are likely already known by the at-fault driver, while others, like a heart attack, may be sudden and unexpected. The following are common conditions that drivers should be aware and take precautions against in order to prevent injury to others on the road:
- Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of extreme sleepiness and drowsiness. This condition can lead to impaired driving because individuals with narcolepsy might unexpectedly fall asleep at the wheel or struggle to stay awake, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy involves the occurrence of seizures. When a seizure happens unexpectedly while driving, it can lead to a loss of control over the vehicle, putting the driver and others on the road in danger.
- Diabetes: Diabetes, a metabolic disorder, can lead to severe hypoglycemia, causing confusion, dizziness, or even loss of consciousness. Experiencing these symptoms while driving can seriously impair a driver’s ability to make sound judgments and react swiftly, potentially leading to crashes.
- Medication-induced drowsiness: Certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain or anxiety disorders, may require treatment with medications that have sedative effects, like opioids or benzodiazepines. These drugs can lead to drowsiness and decreased alertness, making driving unsafe.
Who is Responsible if Someone with a Medical Condition Causes a Wreck?
When you suffer damages in an accident caused by another driver’s medical condition, you may be able to hold them responsible in a compensation claim. In rare cases, you may also be able to seek a settlement from their medical provider.
- Driver liability: In Michigan, drivers with medical conditions or taking medications that result in seizures, fainting, or other episodes may have to undergo an assessment before getting their license. If a license is granted, they must take reasonable steps to treat their condition appropriately to avoid an accident.
If it was foreseeable that a driver’s condition or medication could lead to an accident, and they took no steps to prevent it (like choosing not to drive when other transportation options are available, or not taking medication that causes drowsiness before driving), they may be found negligent.
- Medical provider liability: Medical professionals are responsible for informing patients of potential side effects of their prescribed medications, including those that may impair driving. If a doctor fails to adequately inform a patient that their medication could impact their ability to drive and an accident occurs, there may be grounds for a lawsuit against the physician for medical malpractice.
Although these cases are rare, a qualified attorney can investigate your case to determine if the doctor’s failure to inform them led to the accident.
How to Prove Fault in a Collision Caused by a Medical Condition
Proving fault in a collision caused by a medical condition requires a skilled legal approach to establish responsibility. At Fieger Law, our car accident attorneys can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the crash to find evidence of negligence and win you maximum compensation for your injuries. We can prove liability against the at-fault driver with the following:
- Medical records analysis: Our attorneys can assess the driver’s medical history to determine if they were aware of their condition and whether it could impede safe driving.
- Expert medical testimony: Our legal team can engage medical professionals to testify about the impact of the other driver’s medical condition on driving abilities. This can establish a link between the condition and the collision.
- Eyewitness accounts: We can gather statements from witnesses who observed the driver’s behavior before and during the collision that can help provide crucial insights into their mental or physical state and actions.
- Police reports and documentation: Through thorough review of police reports, incident records, and citations issued, we can identify contributing factors and help prove the driver’s condition at the time of the accident.
- Driver’s compliance with treatment: Your lawyer can investigate whether the driver followed prescribed treatments and medications, showing they did not take action to manage their condition responsibly.
- Prior incidents: We can establish a pattern of behavior by examining the driver’s prior collisions related to their medical condition. If they have a history of traffic accidents due to their health issues, it can help establish negligence.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Fieger Law
When collisions occur due to medical conditions, establishing fault requires a dedicated legal effort. At Fieger Law, our experienced team understands Michigan auto injury law and can help you gather evidence to prove that the at-fault party acted negligently, causing your damages.
We will fiercely advocate for your rights during the claims process, so you can receive the settlement you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review to learn your legal options for compensation.