The Unseen Dangers: How Medical Emergencies Can Lead to Car Accidents

How Medical Emergencies Can Lead to Car Accidents

In the blink of an eye, your life can be turned upside down. Picture this: you’re cruising down the roads of Georgia, enjoying the scenic beauty, when suddenly, the car in front of you veers out of control. As the dust settles in the aftermath of the collision, you realize that the driver had experienced a medical emergency. This one unforeseen event can quickly escalate into a life-altering event for everyone involved.

Medical emergencies behind the wheel are a growing concern in Georgia. A study by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that seizures caused 35% of medical emergency collisions, with sudden loss of consciousness (29%), diabetic emergencies (20%), and heart attacks (11%) accounting for the vast majority of these accidents. These conditions can strike at any moment, turning a routine drive into a perilous situation. The consequences can be devastating, not only for the driver experiencing the emergency but for other innocent motorists on the road.

When Health Collides with Highways

The fast-paced nature of our lives often means that individuals with pre-existing health conditions or those unaware of potential risks continue to drive, putting themselves and others in danger. The sudden onset of a medical emergency can result in loss of control, erratic driving behavior, and ultimately, a collision.

In the state of Georgia, an unforeseen medical emergency may be cited to deny liability. Georgia Code § 1-3-3 (2018) clearly defines an “act of God” meaning an incident that occurs with absolutely no human influence. When an unforeseen medical emergency causes the driver to lose consciousness and have no control over their vehicle, the law acknowledges that the driver was not negligent and they do not bear liability for any resulting damages.

However, determining liability in cases involving medical emergencies can be complex. It requires a thorough investigation into the driver’s medical history, any previous warning signs, and the steps they took (or failed to take) to ensure they were fit to drive. When a driver claims that a medical emergency caused the crash, opposing counsel will seek evidence that demonstrates that the driver in fact knew of their condition prior to the accident, that they irresponsibly chose to neglect their doctor’s direction, or that they had warning signs before the accident occurred.

If the plaintiff’s attorney can show evidence that the other driver knew about their condition, was driving against medical advice, or was not taking their prescribed medication that could prevent such an emergency, then the medical emergency was foreseeable. Thus, the driver could not claim an emergency medical defense against negligent liability for the accident.

While some medical emergencies are unpredictable, there are steps individuals can take to minimize the risk of accidents. Protect yourself and others by always maintaining regular health check-ups, honestly assessing your fitness to drive, and taking proactive measures to contribute to safer roads.

Contact Us

In the aftermath of a car accident resulting from a medical emergency, the path to justice may seem uncertain. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident due to a medical emergency in Georgia, The Balams Firm is here to help. Our experienced team will diligently investigate the circumstances, work with medical experts, and navigate the legal intricacies to build a strong case on your behalf.

The Balams Firm is dedicated to providing the support and legal expertise you need during this challenging time. We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and explore the options available to you. Don’t let an unexpected turn of events define your future. Contact us today, and let us help you navigate the road to recovery.

The Balams Firm

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ReShea Balams

ReShea Balams is an award winning attorney and the founder of The Balams Firm.  Prior to answering her true calling to represent families impacted by life-changes tragedies, ReShea gained invaluable experience and insight as an attorney for large insurance companies.  She is known for her record of exceptional results on behalf of clients, and is a zealous advocate for injury victims.

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  • State Bar of Georgia
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