A Chicago truck accident attorney at our law firm recently learned of an accident in Williamson County that was potentially caused by a driver blacking out behind the wheel. Kfvs12.com reports the accident took place approximately two weeks ago at 9pm on the exit ramp from Interstate 24 East to Interstate 57 South. According to Illinois State Police, a 75-year old driver of Florida was behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle when he allegedly blacked out and drove off of the left side of the roadway. His vehicle then overturned and came to rest on its left side, blocking both lanes of traffic on the interstate.
The report states that the driver had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported to a Marion hospital for treatment of serious injuries. No other motorists were injured in the accident. The driver has been ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and for violating the “14-hour rule,” which states that a commercial truck driver cannot work for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period.
From the perspective of our attorneys, while road traffic accidents most commonly occur due to negligent motorists, distracted driving, or some form of driver error, other accidents may be caused by sudden illness of the driver. These unexpected medical conditions that are considered to be “sudden illness” behind the wheel most commonly include heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and epilepsy. In the above case, the driver suffered a sudden black out and was unable to drive his vehicle appropriately to avoid an accident.
There are many rules and laws in place that are worthwhile for every driver to know in the case that an unexpected medical condition arises while driving. If you are overcome by illness while driving and are in an accident, it is crucial to inform emergency services of your condition as soon as possible, as medical evidence will be critical in determining liability. Contact your insurance company who will explain your rights as the driver who suffered the sudden illness. Even if you are in the car with a driver who suffers from a medical condition, you may have the ability to claim.
Accidents caused by unexpected medical conditions while driving have the potential of becoming very complex as far as where legal liability truly falls. Determining who is liable for an accident depends on numerous factors, such as medical evidence, whether the driver’s medical condition was fatal or non-fatal, the driver’s history of medical conditions, who was injured in the accident, and whether the accident itself was the cause of a heart attack or other illness to the driver. There is a good chance that you will not be prosecuted for causing an accident, as you most likely had no control over the car at that stage. In the accident above, however, the truck driver had been on duty for more that 14 consecutive hours and was therefore ticketed for this violation. Our attorneys want to remind all semi-truck and commercial vehicle drivers that following this rule is essential for not only their health and safety, but the safety of other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway who may be injured if an accident takes place.
Every year, law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. In the case of an accident caused by sudden illness to the driver, we can help you determine where liability falls, in addition to helping accident victims compensate for personal injury, medical, and property damage expenses sustained as the result of the accident.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a trucking accident, please contact us for more information. We are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse is available to you, and are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.