Mississippi Medical Emergencies Behind the Wheel
Who is Liable in an Automobile Accident Caused By a Medical Condition?
Sometimes automobile accidents are not caused by someone’s poor driving or inattention. A medical emergency can strike at any time and for many people it comes without warning. A person driving a vehicle who experiences a stroke, heart attack, or seizure may lose control of his or her vehicle and cause an automobile accident, injuring not just themselves but others around them. When that happens, can the driver of the vehicle be held responsible for any injuries that he or she caused?
Like most areas of the law, whether or not a person will be able to recover against another party depends on the facts of the case. In this instance, the question is a bit tricky to answer. It hinges on whether or not the medical emergency was foreseeable.
This may seem counterintuitive at first glance. After all, how can a medical emergency be foreseeable? No one gets behind the wheel believing they will suddenly suffer a medical emergency, but many people do continue to drive despite knowing that they have a high likelihood of becoming incapacitated. When these people get into accidents due to their medical emergency, they are liable for their negligent behavior.
Here are some common examples of drivers with medical conditions who should be wary of driving on the road:
- A diabetic driver with a history of seizures or diabetic comas;
- An epileptic who has recently experienced seizures;
- A person taking medication that warns the person not to drive.
This list is certainly not exhaustive and barely scratches the surface of drivers who should reconsider being on the road. If a driver is aware of the fact that he or she has a medical condition that will affect his or her driving, whether it be through slowed reflexes and reaction time, decreased vision, blacking out, or suffering from any other episode that may result in losing control of the car, he or she should not be driving a car. That driver is a danger to everyone on the road.
Not All Medical Emergencies Behind the Wheel Lead to Liability
Just because a person causes an accident due to a medical emergency does not mean that they may be liable for causing injuries or damages. Remember, the issue is of foreseeability. If a person suffers a heart attack or has a stroke for the first time while driving, that event may have been unforeseeable by the driver. The same goes for a person who suffers an aneurysm or slips into their first diabetic coma. If the driver could not reasonably foresee the medical emergency, he or she may not be held liable.
If You are Injured By a Mississippi Driver You May Still Recover
Even if the person who caused the accident only did so because they suffered from a medical emergency behind the wheel, you may still be able to recover for your injuries. Every driver in the State of Mississippi is required to carry automobile insurance in case of an accident. Regardless of whether or not this was a first time medical event, if you are injured in an automobile accident, you may still be able to recover from the other driver and responsible parties. An experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney will be able to help you get compensation for your injuries.. Contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi. They can guide you through the complicated process of navigating your personal injury claim. Call today at (228) 374-9787 for a free initial consultation.