Former NBA All Star Could Face Civil Liability for Accident Caused by Medical Condition


February 03, 2015

There are many causes of auto collisions that result in permanent injuries and fatalities. When a crash victim is injured in a collision with a reckless or negligent driver, the injury victim might have the right to pursue a legal claim for damages. Recovery in a personal injury action requires proving that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to others, which actually caused harm to the victim.

Sometimes there can be significant disputes about the cause of a crash. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel or operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, insurance companies often defend such cases by claiming the crash was the result of a medical condition. Although an unexpected medical emergency can provide a valid defense to criminal charges and civil liability, a reputable Atlanta auto accident lawyer can provide the experience you need to gather and effectively present evidence to prove the cause of an accident.

If a driver has a history of medical conditions or illnesses, the driver might be liable even if a medical condition caused the injury. Liability related to a medical emergency will depend on a number of factors that include:

• Warning signs or symptoms immediately prior to the collision
• Medical history that includes conditions that cause periods of unconsciousness or incapacity
• Recommendations by a doctor, pharmacist or other medical provider that a driver avoid operating a motor vehicle

The fatal car crash that sent former Hawk and NBA All-Star Daron "Mookie" Blaylock to prison demonstrates the complex interplay between substance abuse and medical conditions as the cause of a collision. Blaylock was involved in a fatal head-on crash in Clayton County that caused the death of a mother of five.

While the toxicology report indicated that Blaylock had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash, Blaylock still faced charges of vehicle homicide and reckless driving. Blaylock's physicians reportedly told him he should not drive because he suffered from alcoholism related seizures. Blaylock had been arrested for DUI during the month prior to the crash and had several prior DUI convictions according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The circumstances of this case provide an example of when a medical condition can potentially serve as negligent conduct that serves as a basis for imposing liability.

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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.