What If a Medical Emergency Caused My Car Accident?

June 18, 2024
Contact Our West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks for Legal Guidance on Car Accidents Involving Medical Emergencies

A medical emergency can impair a driver’s ability to control a vehicle by causing sudden loss of consciousness, disorientation, or physical incapacitation. Conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, seizures, or diabetic emergencies can strike without warning, leaving drivers unable to react appropriately. This loss of control may result in collisions with other vehicles or objects. So, what happens when a medical emergency causes an accident?

What Types of Medical Conditions Can Lead to Car Accidents?

Various medical conditions can potentially lead to car accidents:

  • Heart attacks: Sudden cardiac events can impair a driver’s ability to control their vehicle.
  • Stroke: A stroke can cause sudden motor function or consciousness loss.
  • Seizures: Seizures can result in loss of consciousness or muscle control.
  • Diabetic emergencies: Severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia can lead to confusion, loss of consciousness, or other impairments that affect driving ability.

Can I Seek Compensation for an Accident Caused by a Medical Emergency?

Be aware that a medical emergency can serve as a defense in a car accident case. The defendant must prove that they experienced a sudden medical event that rendered them incapable of safely operating the vehicle. However, successfully using this defense typically requires thorough documentation and evidence to support the claim of a genuine medical emergency.

Injured plaintiffs can seek to establish negligence in these cases. One way to do so might be to investigate the driver’s medical history and actions leading up to the event. 

How Is Liability Determined in a Car Accident Caused by a Medical Emergency?

Determining liability in a car accident caused by a medical emergency depends on several factors:

  • Whether the driver knew or should have known about their medical condition and its potential to impair driving ability.
  • Whether the driver took appropriate precautions to manage their condition while driving, such as taking medication as prescribed.
  • Whether the driver had previously experienced similar medical events while driving and failed to take preventive measures.
  • Whether any warning signs or symptoms were leading up to the medical emergency that the driver ignored or failed to address.

What Should I Do If I Was Injured in an Accident Caused by a Medical Emergency?

If were injured by a driver whose medical emergency caused your crash, seek medical attention promptly, even if injuries seem minor. Document the accident scene, gather witness information, and obtain a copy of the police report.

Pennsylvania has certain laws that apply to car accident claims and cases. The state operates under a “choice no-fault” system for car insurance, where drivers can choose between limited tort and full tort coverage. Limited tort allows quicker access to medical benefits but limits the ability to sue for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Full tort provides unrestricted rights to sue for all damages.

The state also follows comparative negligence laws, meaning each party’s fault percentage determines its liability share. Pennsylvania also requires drivers to carry minimum liability insurance coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including those arising from car accidents, is generally two years from the date of the injury or accident. Time is of the essence in these cases; contact a lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate your case, protect your rights, and pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

Contact Our West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks for Legal Guidance on Car Accidents Involving Medical Emergencies

Car accidents caused by medical emergencies present unique legal challenges and require careful consideration of medical and legal factors. For more information, contact our West Chester car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Call us at 610-565-3701 or submit our online form to schedule a consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.