Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Answer Whether a Medical Emergency Shield Motorists from Liability


February 10, 2014

Most people presume that they are entitled to financial compensation when a driver veers into their lane, sideswipes their vehicle or blows through a red light and slams into their car. However, the situation gets a lot more complicated when the errant driver claims that he or she suffered a sudden unanticipated medical emergency.

Georgia drivers may be financially responsible when they fail to exercise reasonable care to avoid car crashes that cause foreseeable injury to other vehicle occupants, bicyclists and pedestrians. However, the question that personal injury victims may have in this situation is whether a driver that causes a crash can avoid liability by claiming that a medical condition caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle or otherwise drive in an unsafe manner.

While some may presume that this is more of a theoretical discussion than a real world issue, there are more accidents than one might imagine that are caused by drivers who indicate they were the victim of a sudden illness or medical emergency that impaired their driving. Recent news stories have included politicians, celebrities and ordinary folks alleging that their poor driving was caused by a medical emergency. While a heart attack, stroke, seizure, loss of consciousness or other medical emergency can be a defense to liability, the driver is not excused from liability if he or she had reason to anticipate such a traumatic health problem. If a driver operates a motor vehicle with knowledge that the motorist suffers from epileptic seizures or narcolepsy, the driver may still be liable because it was foreseeable that a severe medical event could occur.

When a driver that causes a serious crash in Georgia or the surrounding vicinity claims that the crash was caused by a health-related condition, our personal injury attorneys may conduct an investigation to determine the authenticity and foreseeability of a claimed medical emergency. If witnesses, the driver or medical records show that the motorist should have been aware of the risk that a known medical condition could have incapacitated the driver, the defendant may still be liable for the crash. Even if the driver is merely suffering from a temporary medical condition after being released from the hospital, the doctor may have received discharge paperwork advising the person that it was not safe to drive.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work on Your Accident Claim

If you or a family member is injured in a collision caused by a driver claiming to have been incapacitated by a medical emergency, our Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.