Had a Seizure While Driving and Caused an Accident? Here's What You Need to Know

Law Articles

According to statistics, one in five motor vehicle accidents are caused by medical reasons, including seizures. When someone has a seizure, they briefly blackout and loose control of their body, which could easily result in a crash if it happens while they are driving. Sometimes people who cause crashes from having a seizure can be held criminally and civilly responsible. If you caused a motor vehicle accident due to having a seizure while driving, you may be wondering what your legal options are if the injured parties file a lawsuit. Here's what you need to know.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Seizures

Of course, epilepsy is a medical condition that causes seizures. Statistics show that 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. However, there are other medical conditions that can cause non-epileptic seizures. Here are three examples.

  • Hypernatremia. Seizures can occur when there is an excessive amount of sodium in the body, which can occur when someone is severely dehydrated. Other symptoms of hypernatremia that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle are lethargy and coma.
  • Previous traumatic brain injury. Post-traumatic brain injuries can lead to seizures. Research suggests that most seizures occur in the first several days following a traumatic brain injury. However, about 25% of people who have seizures soon after a traumatic brain injury can have another seizure months or years later.
  • Malignant hypertension. Extremely high blood pressure that comes on suddenly can cause seizures. Malignant hypertension is rare and occurs in only 1% of people with a history of high blood pressure. Some people are at a higher risk of malignant hypertension than others, particularly those who do not seek health care to control their high blood pressure.

If you have not done so already, it's important for you to have a full medical evaluation done to determine the cause of your seizure.

Was the Seizure Reasonably Foreseeable or Not?

The reason it's so important to determine the cause of your seizure is because that will help you, your medical team, your insurance company, and your lawyer determine whether or not your seizure activity was reasonably foreseeable. This is important because if it's determined that it was reasonably foreseeable, you could be held criminally and civilly liable for all damages and injuries your accident caused.

For example, routinely staying severely dehydrated, having a previous traumatic brain injury, or not attempting to control your high blood pressure can suggest that you didn't take care of your health and, therefore, a seizure was reasonably foreseeable. If this is determined, you may find yourself charged with reckless driving. You may also find yourself being sued by the injured party and/or your car insurance company.

How You Can Protect Yourself From Lawsuits

If your car insurance company does pay damages and it's determined that your seizure was medically foreseeable, they may try to seek repayment from you for the settlement they paid to the injured party. If this does occur, you'll need to hire a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.

If the car insurance company pays the claim but the damages and medical bills are higher than the limit of liability, then you could be held responsible for paying the balance if you are found to be negligent due to a reasonably foreseeable seizure. For example, if your car insurance limit of liability for property damage is $25,000 but you caused $40,000 worth of damages, you could be held responsible for the remaining $15,000.

Visit a site like http://www.bennettandsharp.com and speak with a personal injury lawyer for more information on how you can protect yourself from lawsuits.


23 June 2017

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