Head-On Crash on Main Street/I-5 overpass Caused by Medical Issue
Head-on crash in Ferndale, WA caused by medical issue
The driver of a Ford Crown Victoria was heading eastbound when it collided head-on with the driver of a pickup truck towing a travel trailer in the westbound left-turn lane. One of the two drivers was taken via ambulance to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center. The Ford was towed away but the pickup truck was driven off the scene of the accident.
According to Ferndale Police, the accident was caused by a medical issue experienced by the driver of the Ford Crown Victoria and no infraction was issued.
Can I get a car accident settlement if the at-fault driver was experiencing medical issues?
Yes, drivers who suffer property damage and injuries from a car crash caused by a driver experiencing a medical issue may still recover damages through a car accident settlement. The tricky part is determining fault in these cases.
Pre-existing health conditions that can lead to an unsafe driving situation:
- Seizure disorders
- Heart disease
- Impaired vision
To protect the public, some states put restrictions or limitations on drivers with certain diagnosed medical issues; limitations vary depending on the severity and type of impairment.
Determining fault in car accidents caused by a health condition
The reasons that it is difficult to determine fault in car accidents caused by a health condition are that the variables in each case are different. The judge will determine factors such as whether the at-fault driver knew about their health condition, what percentage of fault can be attributed to the condition and the severity of the injuries.
Expert testimony from medical specialists will be used by the judge to determine whether the driver was aware of their medical condition before they set off on the road. If it is found that the driver was aware of their condition, the judge will decide if he or she was intentionally negligent by failing to obtain appropriate treatment for the condition.
The judge will also assess the severity of the health impairment in relation to the accident. If the impairment is minor such as poor vision it may be deemed not a factor in the crash; whereas an impairment such as a seizure disorder may be deemed a major factor in determining fault.
It can be complicated to get a reasonable settlement when the judge discovers that the driver was not aware of their medical condition. The driver may attempt to use the “sudden emergency doctrine” which states that a driver’s loss of consciousness has to have taken place without reasonable warning or in a way that stopped the driver from observing emergency safety precautions.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury as a result of an accident or error caused by the negligence of another, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!