Car Accident Liability When a Medical Condition Is Involved



Car accidents happen all the time, and it’s often easy to determine liability. Perhaps one driver was drunk. Maybe someone ran a red light as he or she fiddled with the stereo. Someone could have been paying attention to a billboard when he or she rear-ended a car stopped at a red light. Those situations seem obvious, but what happens when the seemingly responsible driver was experiencing complications from a medical condition?


Common Conditions Related to Car Accidents

There are some health conditions that prevent an individual from being able to drive a car at all. There are others that don’t prohibit the individual from driving as long as he or she is on the right medication. Some of the most common health conditions that relate to car accidents include seizures, poor eyesight, diabetes, and heart disease.


Whether the Driver Knew About the Condition

To determine liability for an accident involving someone with a medical condition, a judge might start with whether the driver actually knew about the condition to begin with. If he or she had been in perfect health up to that point, and suddenly suffered a heart attack while driving, the driver would probably not be liable for the accident.


On the other hand, the driver may have known about a certain diagnosed heart disease that required a prescription medication. If he or she failed to take the medication as prescribed, a judge may find the driver liable for the accident because of negligence in not taking the medication.


How Much of an Effect the Condition Had on the Accident

Sometimes the driver will try to play up a condition to make it seem as though he or she suffered an unknown episode instead of taking responsibility for causing an accident. A court will look at the degree at which the disease actually played a role in the accident. If it was a minor condition that wouldn’t normally cause someone to get in an accident, the driver may be held liable. If it was a major condition, such as epilepsy, the driver may not be held liable.


Allowing a Lawyer to Handle the Case

Car accident cases involving medical conditions can get a little tricky.