There are times when a defendant driver won’t be held responsible for a vehicle accident if he or she uses a “sudden medical emergency” defense. Florida law protects drivers who may suffer a medical emergency and they are not held liable for damages incurred in the accident. However, in order for a defendant driver to make a valid claim, he or she must first meet a few criteria. Ask a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney about your rights and defense options.
A sudden physical event that may affect the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle may qualify as a medical emergency. Even when this condition causes an accident where people are hurt, the defendant driver may be innocent. Some medical emergencies include:
So if the driver becomes incapacitated, loses control, and becomes unconscious and if he or she did not know that something was happening, the defendant driver is not obligated to compensate the victims involved in the accident.
Oftentimes, people involved in a car caused by a medical emergency are not sure about their rights. The sudden medical emergency leaves them with no hope of receiving any compensation. It is also unfair to hold the driver at fault accountable for something they could not control due to their medical condition.
When analyzing these cases, the judge will take a look at specialized testimony from professionals such as doctors, medical specialists, and neurologists, in order to determine if the defendant driver was aware of the condition. If the defendant driver knew about it, the judge will decide if he or she was negligent and didn’t follow doctor’s orders. The judge will also evaluate if something else, besides the condition, may have caused the accident. If there was no significant impairment, the judge may determine that the condition had nothing to do with the accident, therefore, the defendant driver is guilty.
People who suffer a sudden medical emergency should seek prompt medical attention to determine what caused the medical problem. After the cause has been determined, they should seek help from a doctor who specializes in this area. The insurance should also be notified about the incident. In some cases, the driver will be instructed to stop driving until the cause and treatment have been determined and it is safe for the patient to drive again.
If you have been involved in an accident where the driver the caused the accident suffered a sudden medical emergency, it is best you contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney. These cases can be complex and liability may not be that simple. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is vital to determine if the medical emergency constitutes a viable defense. Insurance companies may not be on your side, therefore, you must take the necessary steps to protect yourself.