Driver Claims Epileptic Seizure not Hit-And-Run Key to Multi-Vehicle Accident


January 19, 2012

A serious Marietta car accident in which a hit-and-run driver fled the scene is now being blamed on an epileptic seizure. The Marietta accident involved multiple vehicles.

The driver charged with hit-and-run reportedly claims that he does not remember anything after the accident because he suffered an epileptic seizure that caused him to lose control of the vehicle. Garrett Hamlin claims that the epileptic seizure caused the multi-car accident on the 120 Loop. Hamlin claims that he hit an F150 pickup while having a seizure, and that then his vehicle lurched across the road into oncoming traffic and hit two other vehicles.

After colliding with the other vehicles, Hamlin's vehicle then ran off the road and crashed into the woods adjacent to the roadway. Hamlin’s was taken from the accident scene by paramedics to a nearby hospital. Police suggest that Hamlin had a motive to flee the accident scene because he did not have a valid driver’s license. However, Hamlin contends that if he was attempting to flee the accident scene after hitting the F150 pickup truck, it made no sense to cross over into oncoming traffic and risk a head-on collision with other vehicles.

While it does seem odd that a driver would flee an accident scene by crossing into oncoming traffic, Hamlin's driving record is probably part of the reason that police doubt his story, given that he has two arrests for driving without a license in Gwinnett County alone. There is currently a pending warrant for Hamlin’s arrest for hit-and-run stemming from the Marietta multicar collision. Hamlin claims that he has a history of epileptic seizures and has indicated that he plans to provide his medical records to police.

There are two key points to take away from this accident. The first is if you are involved in an accident resulting in significant property damage or personal injury, you must stop and provide assistance. Even if you only drive a short distance from the accident scene, this may form a basis for hit-and-run charges. However, Hamlin may have a compelling argument that he was not trying to flee the scene as it would seem that the most expedient route for fleeing the scene would not be to cross over into oncoming traffic.

The other key point to keep in mind is that an epileptic seizure typically will not prevent an accident victim from successfully bringing a personal injury lawsuit. The video of Hamlin admitting that he has a history of epileptic seizures will likely be important evidence in any civil lawsuit brought on behalf of the other accident victims involved in the multicar pileup. Admittedly, Hamlin may not have been able to control when and if he suffered an epileptic seizure, but if he knows that he is prone to having seizures, then he may be liable when a seizure causes a car accident resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death. The key question is whether or not it was reasonably foreseeable that Hamlin might have a seizure causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

At Montlick and Associates, our experienced team of Georgia car accident lawyers has handled thousands of car accident injury claims, including those involving drivers that became incapacitated by the foreseeable onset of symptoms associated with a medical condition. If a driver chooses to get behind the wheel knowing that he or she has a medical condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes that may cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, an injury victim may have a right to pursue compensation for injuries suffered that are caused by the decision to drive despite a serious medical condition.

Our Atlanta hit-and-run accident lawyers are available to assist clients 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

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