Every day, hundreds of thousands of people dealing with health issues get behind the wheel. However, certain types of medical conditions such as poor vision, dementia, fainting and seizure disorders, and sleep disorders may impact a person of any age’s ability to drive safely. When a person knows that they suffer from certain health issues and medical conditions that can impair their driving ability, but chooses to drive anyway he or she can be found negligent by the court if their medical condition causes an accident that injures another person. The key issue to consider here is the knowledge factor. To break this theory down for understanding, let’s draw a comparison.
For the first example, consider you are in perfect health to your knowledge, regularly get check-ups, and know nothing that could be at issue with your body. However, one day, while driving you suffer a heart attack behind the wheel of the car and cause a collision where the other party suffers personal injuries. If you had no foresight of this issue occurring, a court may not find you negligent because you had no knowledge and did all in your power to be a safe and cautious driver and keep others free from injury. You were abiding by your legal duty to care for others and not cause harm.
However, let’s consider another example. Now, you are an individual who is known to frequently faint for unknown reasons. You are aware that this is a common occurrence for you, but you decide to drive anyway. With the knowledge that this could very well likely happen to you, you decide to get behind the wheel of a car, and to no surprise, you faint while behind the wheel of a car, cause a collision, and the other party suffers personal injuries. In this case, a court may very well find you negligent and that you have breached a duty of care to the other party on the road because you knowingly drove a motor vehicle with an awareness that you could pass out while driving, and therefore were knowingly reckless and put others in danger. By getting behind the wheel and knowing you could faint, you did not use the safety precautions required of you under the law.
Medical issues such as this appear to be to blame for a recent trucking accident. According to The Indy Channel, a Jeep and semi-truck collided on I-70, resulting in the death of the driver of the Jeep. Witnesses reported to emergency responders that the Jeep swerved from the center lane into the path of the semi-truck in the left lane. According to early investigations, alcohol and drugs were not believed to have been factors in this collision. However, the driver of the Jeep is believed to have suffered a medical condition immediately before the collision.
The truck driver was not seriously injured, so we assume there will not be any personal injury actions stemming from this accident. However, this example serves as a tragic warning of the dangers posed to those who suffer serious medical issues that could interfere with their ability to operate a vehicle. For over 20 years, our lawyers have served injured victims of negligence in all types of injury and accident lawsuits. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash like this, call our firm today for a free consultation.