Getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is both an efficient means of travel and a risky venture.
Just think about all the things you must be capable of doing when operating a motor vehicle: maintaining clear vision, staying aware of your surroundings and constantly having the physical strength to turn the steering wheel and push down on the pedals.
Now, imagine all the factors that can impair your ability to drive, such as radio distractions, cold or allergy medication side effects, cell phones or even day dreaming.
In some states, officials have created lists of various medical conditions that can impair driving and cause automobile accidents. These lists often include:
Effects or side effects of medication
Following certain prescribed treatment programs
Behavioral or physical instability
Reaction time (reflex speed)
Range of motion
Strength and endurance
Many times, the law will consider the conditions mentioned above, as well as numerous others, as qualifying medical conditions that determine the liability of who is at fault in a car accident.
Remember to verify which impairments or medical conditions can alter liability of car accidents as deemed by your state; you can find this information out by checking with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Who’s at Fault?
If you have a medical condition, are you at fault? While there is no definitive or absolute answer to this question, there are a few things that the law will consider when determining who is liable if a medical condition played a part in an automobile accident in Florida.
For one, a portion of liability depends on the type of impairment the driver has and whether or not that impairment resulted in an automobile accident.
There are some mild impairments, such as lingering symptoms of a common head cold, that are considered a medical condition and may be factors in a car accident; however, those lingering symptoms may not be substantial enough to have played a significant part in the accident.
Then, there are more severe medical conditions that can impair your driving, such as suffering from epileptic seizures. Basically, the more severe the condition you have, the higher chance that condition will be considered a major factor in determining liability in the event of a car accident.
If a driver was unaware they had a medical condition prior to the accident, then the driver could be exempt from criminal negligence and fault under the Sudden Emergency Doctrine.
Who Can You Call?
Since each state outlines different qualifying medical conditions of impairment, seeking legal counsel before you travel across state borders can prove significantly beneficial for you if you have or believe you have a medical condition.
If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition but aren’t quite sure how it can impact your driving ability and record in the event of an accident, then you may want to stay informed of your rights and contact an expert for legal advice.