Georgia Auto Accidents Caused by Epilepsy and Other Medical Conditions


April 06, 2011

Many serious auto accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia are caused by those with a medical condition. A person with a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy that causes lapses in consciousness, puts others at risk when climbing behind the wheel of their car, truck or SUV.

In addition to medical conditions that can cause serious accidents resulting in permanent disabling injuries, many prescription medications including some anticonvulsant drugs may have side effects that include drowsiness or that otherwise impair driving ability.

If you are involved in a Georgia car accident caused by a driver who disregards the risks associated with a known medical condition or ignores the label on a medication warning not to drive or operate heavy machinery, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The dedicated legal team at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injury in Atlanta car accidents as well as motor vehicle accidents throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our experienced Georgia auto accident lawyers will work diligently in your best interests as part of our continuing goal of being the best Atlanta personal injury law firm.

While it may seem like the risk associated with such accidents is not that serious, drivers who are epileptic are seven times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than people who are not. Nonetheless, there are surprisingly few restrictions in place for drivers with serious medical conditions that want to obtain a driver's license.

In Georgia, a person diagnosed with epilepsy may obtain a driver's license to drive cars and trucks weighing less than 26,000 pounds if he or she purports to have been seizure-free for six consecutive months. They may also need to provide periodic medical reports after their license is issued to the Department of Driver Services. These medical reports typically indicate whether a person is taking medications and whether their seizures are still under control.

There is currently no statute in place that requires doctors to report patients with epilepsy to a central agency. This means that if a patient has a medical condition that should lead to suspending their driving privileges for the driver’s safety and the safety of others on the road, the burden to report the condition to appropriate licensing authorities is left to the driver with the medical condition. After the report is submitted, it is up to the driver's licensing agency to decide whether to revoke or restrict the driver's license.

Studies have shown that in states where drivers are required to report their own condition, only about 1/3 of licensed drivers comply with this law. In the hope that more drivers will be willing to report their health conditions, some states have even become more lenient and are allowing drivers who have been seizure-free for only 90 days to drive. This raises more issues as to whether this is a sufficient amount of time for a person to demonstrate it is safe to drive an automobile.

A person who has a known medical condition like epilepsy has an enormous responsibility when maintaining a driver's license. The risk of injury or death from a seizure-related auto accident is not restricted to just the driver and others in the car but to people in other cars as well as to pedestrians. When a driver is involved in a Georgia car accident because they fail to report their medical condition, they may be liable for any accident-related injuries or wrongful deaths that result.

Civil or criminal liability may arise for a person who is involved in an auto accident caused by seizures. When a person drives without notifying the department of motor vehicles of the medical condition, against medical advice or without a valid license, liability can be imposed. A person who suffers from epilepsy knows that he or she could be stricken with an epileptic seizure at any time. If this person suffers a seizure while driving and crashes his or her car into another vehicle, the driver may be found negligent since a reasonable person who is subject to sudden epileptic seizures should not have been driving in the first place.

If you suffer serious injury or wrongful death in a Georgia auto accident with a driver who was driving despite a known medical limitation or condition, such as epilepsy, Montlick and Associates can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. The Atlanta Georgia auto accident law firm of Montlick and Associates is 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: Personal Injury

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.