Leesburg Florida car accident lawyer explains a recent case where a driver is not responsible for a car accident that she caused because she had a seizure.
Can you imagine this. You're sitting at a red light, you look in rear view mirror and see a van approaching that just doesn't look like its going to stop. You brace yourself and “boom” the crash happens. You get out of your vehicle and see the driver having a seizure. You run the back of your car, pull a blanket out of the trunk, and reposition the driver so she doesn't swallow her tongue.
You're injured as a result of the crash, and you file a claim with the other driver's insurance company. The insurance company refuses to pay. The insurance companies argues that they are not responsible because their driver was not negligent. This is the sudden loss of consciousness defense.
The case went to trial and the defendant driver testified that this was her first seizure. She called a neurologist to testify on her behalf that she had a cryptogenic seizure, which has no known cause. The jury found for the injured person and the defendant appealed. On appeal, the Second DCA took away the jury verdict and found for the defendant on the sudden loss of consciousness defense.
Sudden Loss of Consciousness Defense
In essence, the sudden loss of consciousness defense or sudden medical emergency defense says that the defendant is not negligent because he/she could not foresee that the defense was going to happen. The key to being successful in these types of cases is showing that the medical emergency was indeed – foreseeable.
In order the win with this type of defense, the driver who caused the accident has to show:
- The loss of consciousness or capacity occurred before the alleged negligent conduct.
- For instance, the seizure must happen before – not after the crash.
- The loss of consciousness was sudden.
- The loss of consciousness or capacity was neither foreseen or foreseeable.
Sometimes the law is unfair. In these types of cases it is important to retain a lawyer immediately so they can hopefully discover facts that would show the driver should have known that the medical emergency would happen. Also, these cases are medical intensive so it would be best for your lawyer to have a healthcare background.
If you have any questions about a Stuart – Port St. Lucie Florida car accident claim, you can give me a call or if you would like to request a free copy of my book – click the link.
Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JDFlorida car accident lawyer7309 Otter Creek CourtPO Box 186Yalaha, FL 34797