Imagine this: You're heading down the road in your car and you're suddenly blindsided by another vehicle that drifts abruptly out of its lane and into you. You're seriously injured, so you naturally try to seek medical coverage and compensation from the other driver's insurance.
Yet, your claim is denied because the other driver is asserting a claim that they were suddenly incapacitated due to a medical emergency. What's going on? Here's what you need to know.
Why does it matter if the other driver had a sudden medical emergency?
Most states recognize the idea that drivers should always be held accountable for their actions -- but an unexpected medical emergency that incapacitates the driver isn't something that the driver can actually control. Since the driver who had the medical emergency couldn't control his or her situation, there's no case for negligence. Without negligence, the other driver has no liability for your injuries.
What is considered a sudden medical emergency?
Every state is a little different, but you can generally expect to see this kind of defense whenever a driver suddenly becomes unconscious or disoriented with no warning and without any foreseeable cause.
Some examples that might be considered a sudden medical emergency include:
- A driver has a sudden heart attack
- The driver fainted due to an allergic reaction or an unknown illness
- The driver became disoriented due to a stroke
Naturally, these aren't the only possible reasons that someone might lose control of their vehicle without warning, but they're fairly clear examples of medical problems that can occur with no warning.
How can you overcome this kind of defense to your claim?
People sometimes try to assert this defense when they simply don't want to admit that they're responsible for an accident. Embarrassment or panic may cause them to claim that their condition was sudden and unavoidable -- even though it really wasn't.
An experienced auto accident attorney can often find evidence that the other driver either knew he or she had a certain medical condition that could be problematic or that the condition wasn't all that sudden. For example, a diabetic who passes out due to low blood sugar may have skipped lunch -- knowing that it put him or her at risk of complications. Someone who fainted due to illness may have been on the way home from work because they were feeling sick -- which means that the incident wasn't quite as sudden as the driver claimed.
If your medical bills and claim for compensation are being denied after a car wreck because the other driver insists that the incident was due to a sudden medical emergency, talk to an auto accident attorney today.