When you have been hurt in a car accident because of another driver experiencing a health emergency, you may be unsure if you can or should pursue compensation for your damages. These recovering compensation can be challenging because the defense of “sudden emergency” is often used. Courts recognize there are unforeseeable circumstances where one cannot be held to the expected standard of care.
Despite this argument, skilled accident lawyers like those at Jordan Law understand that these health emergencies were foreseeable and the accident preventable many times. Showing the other driver didn’t exercise reasonable care regarding their condition can establish negligence on their part.
Examples of the Sudden Emergency Doctrine Defense in Accidents
In Florida, a defendant can use the sudden emergency doctrine when they experienced an actual emergency that they didn’t contribute to or cause. The court will also consider whether someone else in that situation would have taken the same course of action.
Below are a few examples of how this defense is used:
- Speeding to get a passenger experiencing a medical emergency to the nearest medical center for care
- Suffering a medical emergency while driving (stroke, seizure, heart attack, etc.)
- Being attacked by an animal or insect considered dangerous or that poses a danger to the driver’s health (bees, wasps, snakes, etc.)
Often, these circumstances could make it possible for the at-fault driver to use the sudden emergency doctrine in their own defense and avoid owing compensation to those injured by their actions. Still, this is only a successful argument if the circumstances were unforeseeable and actions taken were reasonable given the emergency situation.
Is It Possible Win Compensation in Accidents Involving Seizures?
When you or a loved one suffer debilitating injuries in a car accident after another driver suffers a seizure, don’t assume the accident was unavoidable. A recent case in California highlights this fact. A driver who suffered a grand mal seizure that killed two was sued for wrongful death by the surviving relatives. They also sought compensation from the vehicle’s co-signer, the at-fault driver’s father.
The plaintiff’s legal team used discovery evidence to show the court that not only had the driver and his father been aware of the seizure disorder he suffered from. Further, the young man’s father had also testified he was considering removing himself from the title of his son’s truck because of the liability involved with his son continuing to operate it.
These facts justified the plaintiff’s assertion both father and son were negligent in causing the death of their family members. The jury agreed and awarded them significant compensation since the father knew his son was unfit for driving and did nothing to stop him. In addition, the defendant’s negligent decision to continue driving the truck despite his debilitating seizure condition was also found to be contributing.
While the defendant’s father did attempt an appeal, California’s appellate court overseeing the case affirmed the lower court’s ruling that he shared in this liability. This type of case underscores the importance of hiring an experienced Seminole County personal injury lawyer well-versed in how sudden emergency doctrine cannot be used as a defense.
Trust Skilled Personal Injury Attorneys with Your Compensation Case
If you or someone you know sustained injuries after someone suffering a medical emergency caused a car accident, know that you still may recover compensation for your damages. With the right personal injury attorney representing your case, getting justice is possible.
At Jordan Law, our team is skilled in using the discovery process to uncover the facts of a case. We will carefully review the defendant’s medical history and gather any evidence and testimony that might show their emergency was foreseeable in nature. You don’t have to suffer this burden on your own. This wasn’t your fault, and our law firm can assist in proving the at-fault party negligently breached their duty of care to you.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.