Car accidents happen all too frequently on Florida roads. And injuries and fatalities due to car accidents are becoming regular news stories.
Drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, driving on the opposite side of the road, running red lights and stop signs, and simply not paying attention are all common causes of car crashes. But did you also know that pre-existing medical conditions can contribute to car accidents?
Certain medical conditions can affect a person’s ability to safely drive a vehicle, which can then result in a devastating crash or collision. Epilepsy and other seizure disorders, diabetes, heart conditions, and poor eyesight can all lead to car accidents if a driver chooses to get behind the wheel.
Florida is currently a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. That means if you are involved in a crash, you will turn to your own insurance company and personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to cover your medical expenses and other losses. However, if you suffer a serious injury or a death occurs, you can step out of this no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In many cases, it’s easy to tell who is at fault and why. A drunk driver can have their blood alcohol content tested. It’s clear when someone blazed through a red light or failed to brake at a stop sign. But if a medical condition is the culprit, it can be harder to pinpoint due to a number of factors.
First, every accident is different. Second, it can be difficult to determine how much the medical condition actually impacted the crash. Third, a driver might not even know he or she has a medical condition to begin with. And fourth, the medical impairment might be mild enough where it goes undiscovered.
But impairments caused by a severe medical condition can greatly influence liability. How so?
Let’s say that a driver who is diabetic veers into traffic, crashes into another vehicle, and kills a passenger. He argues that he wasn’t in control of his actions at the time because he was hypoglycemic. But since is able to monitor his blood sugar, it could be argued that he failed to exercise proper safety precautions and is therefore at fault.
Another example might be someone who has a history of choking and lightheadedness. If this person choked and passed out while driving and caused an injury, it could be argued that blacking out was a natural progression of their condition and that they should have been more cautious. In other words, they are at fault because they acted in a reckless or negligent manner.
As you can see, a medical condition can make a driver liable for an accident if there is the potential for something to happen that would impair the driver. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and believe a medical condition was the cause, contact an experienced Florida car injury attorney today to discuss your case and see if you may be entitled to a settlement.