Minor Accident Leaves Man Dead, Medical Episode Possibly Involved

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Medical episodes can affect liability in auto accidents.


Senior Man Dies in Minor Accident, Police Suspect Medical Episode Involved

According to a KSAT News report, an elderly man died in a minor auto accident last week.

Police reported the accident occurred at around 3 p.m. on Friday, May 17th, on the 6100 Block of Heritage Drive on the Northwest Side of San Antonio. A 66-year-old man was driving a silver Toyota when witnesses told police they saw him slumped over in the driver’s seat. He crashed into a parked car, and police say the damage to the vehicle was minor. He was unconscious when EMS transported him to a local hospital, where he later died. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death at a later date. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and no other injuries were reported.

Did You Know?

A 2009 study by the NHTSA found that in 84% of accidents caused by medical emergencies, the driver experienced seizures, blackouts, or diabetic reactions.

Do Medical Episodes Affect Liability in Auto Accidents in Texas?

You’ve heard horror stories like this in the news before — a driver causes a serious accident or hurts someone because they suffered a stroke or heart attack while driving. It’s a scary situation that can happen to anyone and potentially hurt a lot of people.

You probably already know that the law demands that the driver who causes an accident is legally responsible for the damage that ensues. But what happens in a situation where a driver caused an accident but technically had no control over the circumstances? Let’s take a look.

The Sudden Medical Emergency Defense

The sudden medical emergency defense shields victims of medical emergencies while behind the wheel from liability if the following conditions are met:

  1. The emergency arose suddenly — If the driver was feeling ill but got behind the wheel anyway, they would have trouble proving a sudden medical emergency defense.
  2. The medical emergency caused the driver to lose control — If you were conscious and able to pull over when the accident happened, you would likely still be held accountable if you failed to do so.
  3. The medical episode was not foreseeable — Drivers with diagnosed medical conditions who have been advised not to drive are not able to raise the sudden medical emergency defense because the episode will be considered foreseeable.

In summary, this defense is best raised by drivers who have no medical history of certain conditions and who suddenly became incapacitated by an unforeseen medical emergency while driving.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Medical Emergency Accidents?

Proving a sudden medical emergency is an extremely difficult process on your own.

Opposing counsel will likely argue:

  • You had the ability to pull over but did not,
  • Your medical emergency was foreseeable,
  • You had the ability to prevent the medical emergency but did not.

Accidents involving sudden medical emergencies are complex and difficult to prove and require the expertise and resources of an experienced auto accident attorney.

Accident Attorneys for Victims of Medical Emergency Auto Accidents in Texas

Don’t pay for an accident that was not your fault. If you suffered a sudden medical episode while driving that caused an accident call Carabin Shaw.

Our attorneys have represented those injured in auto accidents across Texas for over 30 years. We’re a trusted name because we put our clients first. Call our team for immediate help at 800-862-1260 or use the live chat to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. We look forward to serving you.

Contacting a Carabin Shaw attorney is free and does not obligate you to work with the firm.

¹KSAT Report

²NHTSA Report


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