Depending on your state's laws, there is a possibility that a driver who experiences a medical emergency could not be held responsible for an auto accident he or she caused. If you are the injured party, you could end up not receiving compensation for injuries and damages that result from the accident. Here is what you need to know about the sudden medical emergency defense.
Is a "Sudden Medical Emergency" a Real Defense?
A sudden medical emergency occurs when an unforeseen medical crisis arises that inhibits a driver's ability to safely navigate his or her car. In some states, it is a plausible defense that could lead to the injured party not receiving compensation for damages.
In order for the sudden medical emergency defense to be used, the responsible driver has to show that he or she lost consciousness while driving and that this resulted in the car accident. The driver also has to argue that the medical emergency was unforeseeable. For instance, a driver who has a heart attack and blacks out would qualify.
However, there are some medical emergencies that do not qualify. For instance, a driver who has a history of epileptic seizures who passes out while driving could still be liable for the accident. Since he or she has a history of seizures, it is not considered to be an unforeseeable situation.
Since laws regarding this particular defense tend to vary from state to state, you will need to check your state's laws to determine if the responsible driver can be held liable for your injuries and damages. If he or she is, you can file a claim with his or her insurance or even a lawsuit to recover damages.
What If He or She Is Not?
In the event that the other driver is not considered to be responsible for the accident through your state's acceptance of the sudden medical emergency defense, you will have to explore other options to pay your medical bills, repair your car, and cover other damages.
One option is to file a claim on your own insurance. Even though you were not at fault for the accident, some states have laws in place that would push a provider to cover the costs of the accident up to a certain dollar amount. Depending on the type of coverage you currently have, you could still get the insurance company to cover the damages even if there are no state laws in place to push the provider to pay.
Consult with an attorney like one from Palmetto Injury Lawyers who is experienced in handling situations such as yours. He or she can help you fully explore your options and take action on your behalf.