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When Car Accidents Are Caused by a Medical Emergency

Life Law May 2, 2023

Passed Out driver with Injured passenger calling for helpA sudden medical issue, such as a heart attack, seizure, or stroke, can leave a driver unconscious and may result in a traffic crash. However, since the sudden emergency which caused the accident wasn't due to the driver's negligence, they may be able to assert the "sudden medical emergency" defense to limit their car accident liability. In such situations, both the injured party and driver must turn to their own insurance carrier to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. 

At Life Law, we have resources to support and represent clients in complex car accident cases involving medical emergencies. Our practiced North Carolina personal injury attorneys can analyze the situation, determine your options to pursue damages, and help file your insurance claims. We're proud to serve clients across Raleigh, Wilmington, Charlotte, Asheville, Nags Head, and throughout all of North Carolina. 

Determining Fault in a Medical Emergency Car Accident  

A medical emergency car accident is a motor vehicle accident that occurs due to a sudden medical emergency that makes the driver unconscious – and unable to control the car. When a traffic crash occurs due to a sudden medical emergency, the driver isn't actually at fault for the incident. Hence, they won't have to pay for injuries, damages, or losses suffered by accident victims. 

Common Medical Emergency While Driving

Here are some common medical emergencies that a person may experience while driving: 

  • Heart attack 

  • Brain aneurysm 

  • Seizure 

  • Choking 

  • Diabetic reactions before a crash 

  • Stroke 

  • Blacking out or fainting 

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a sudden medical emergency, you need to reach out to a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer immediately. Your legal counsel can investigate the credibility of the driver's claim and help you pursue your deserved financial compensation. 

Defenses for Medical Emergency While Driving

In North Carolina, the "Sudden Medical Emergency" doctrine is a legal defense that may be asserted in a negligent action that reduces the expected legal duty of care owed by the person during a sudden medical emergency. 

Furthermore, in order to establish a sudden medical emergency defense, the driver must show that: 

  • They suddenly became physically incapacitated. 

  • The sudden physical incapacitation or medical emergency wasn't reasonably foreseeable. 

  • They lost control of the car due to their incapacity. 

  • The sudden medical emergency was not caused by their own negligence. 

If the driver can prove that the traffic crash was caused by a sudden medical emergency, you may need to turn to your own insurance policy to cover medical expenses, damages, and other losses. 

Compassionate Legal Representation

Being involved in a negligent accident can be difficult and emotional. Though, you may be entitled to pursue damages by filing a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, seeking compensation may be quite challenging if the driver claimed they became unconscious due to a sudden medical emergency. Therefore, consulting with an experienced car accident attorney is crucial to help protect your legal rights and pursue fair financial compensation. 

At Life Law, our attorneys enjoy advocating for the best interests of personal injury and accident victims. As your legal team, we will review your situation thoroughly, challenge the at-fault party's sudden medical emergency defense, and explore your available legal options to pursue damages. In addition, our attorneys will fight compassionately for your legal rights and help you seek the financial justice you deserve. 

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a sudden medical emergency, contact us at Life Law today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced legal team can direct you through the often-complex procedures involved in filing claims and recovering damages. We're proud to serve clients across Raleigh, Wilmington, Charlotte, Asheville, Nags Head, and throughout all of North Carolina.