Unlike drinking and driving, having a medical emergency while driving is not a choice. Nobody plans to suffer a heart attack or stroke while driving. But that does not necessarily mean that someone who gets into a serious car accident after a sudden medical incident is automatically not held responsible.
Certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, can cause the patient to lose self-control or consciousness. The patient may have little or no warning of when an attack will happen. Therefore, it is not safe for someone with such a condition to drive. Unfortunately, there would be no way to know if a driver with epilepsy would have a seizure, putting that driver and everyone around them in danger.
Seizure believed to have caused firey crash in Louisiana
Police believe that a seizure suffered by a driver in Kenner led to a multi-vehicle car accident that cost the life of a woman. Authorities believe the driver was speeding west on I-10 and exited toward a street. The driver lost control before the off-ramp intersection and his car swerved beneath the interstate, where a vehicle belonging to a construction worker was parked. The driver’s vehicle crashed into the parked vehicle and burst into flames, which engulfed two other vehicles parked at the scene.
A passenger in the vehicle died, and the driver was in critical condition as of the date of the crash. It is believed that the two were a couple and the man driving had a condition that caused severe seizures. He reportedly had gotten medical treatment for the seizures just weeks before the crash.
Some medical conditions are too risky to drive with
Assuming this is true, we do not know if the man was warned by his doctor not to drive until his seizures were brought under control. Someone who disregards medical advice in this way and subsequently injuries someone in an auto accident could potentially be liable for those injuries. The decision to drive despite the known possibility of a medical emergency that would cause the driver to lose control is a form of negligence.