What Happens If a Medical Condition Causes a Car Accident?


Medical emergencies could happen without previous symptoms and impair your body functions. It could occur while driving and lead you to a devastating car crash.

So, what should you do if you had a medical emergency while driving that caused a car accident?

The best option is to hire a Glendale auto accident lawyer to represent your case. However, you must still learn how to protect your rights after a car crash caused by a medical emergency.

Medical Emergency Defense in Car Accident Lawsuit

A medical emergency could cause a car crash when it disables a driver behind the wheel. An example is when you experience a heart attack that makes you lose control and crash your car into another vehicle.

Now, you could use medical emergency defense if the victims in the other vehicle file a lawsuit against you as the at-fault driver. The reason could prove that you were not at fault for the accident because your heart attack was unexpected.

The thing is that the court would only accept a medical emergency defense if it adheres to these three elements:

  • The Medical Emergency was Severe but Unexpected

The medical emergency should be severe enough to make it difficult for you to control the vehicle properly. It should also be completely unexpected, like occurring without a previous relevant diagnosis or symptoms.

  • The Driver Did Not Cause the Emergency

Aside from being unexpected, it’s also vital that the driver didn’t cause the emergency.

For example, imagine you skipped your diabetes treatment and didn’t check your blood sugar before driving. You may think you will be okay throughout the travel, but you suddenly faint while driving.

In this case, while you didn’t expect the emergency, your actions caused it. Thus, the medical emergency defense won’t apply in this case.

  • The Driver Acted Reasonably

Lastly, you should have acted reasonably to avoid the accident as much as possible.

For example, you may have tried to bring the vehicle to a safe area when you suddenly felt dizzy. However, you failed during the attempt and ended up in a car crash.

Another example is taking proper treatment and medications before driving. You thus didn’t expect a medical emergency to occur.

The medical emergency defense applies in both situations.

Proving Medical Emergency in a Car Accident


You should prove that a medical emergency caused the car crash to win an auto accident lawsuit.

Work with a Glendale auto accident lawyer to investigate and collect evidence like a medical report. The document should prove that the medical emergency was unexpected and severe enough to cause the accident.

If proven, the court could declare you were not liable and that the accident is a No-Fault case. Otherwise, you must pay compensation to the other party.

Medical Emergency Defense and Mental Health Issues

California law generally doesn’t allow the use of the medical emergency defense for mental health problems.

It means a driver should pay compensation to the victims if their mental health issues caused the car crash. However, they will not be liable for punitive damages if their condition impairs their judgment between right and wrong.

Auto Accident Attorney in Glendale for Proving Medical Emergency in a Car Crash

A sudden medical emergency while driving could lead to a devastating car accident. You may sustain damages and injuries and face a lawsuit from the other party.

Thankfully, you can still defend yourself in court to prove that you were not liable for the car crash. A Glendale auto accident lawyer will help represent your case and use the proper defense to prove your medical emergency claim.

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