Auto accidents in Las Vegas happen daily, and it’s clear who is at fault most of the time. But what about the accidents when the driver gets a seizure, and it becomes the reason behind the accident? Or if the driver gets a heart attack that forces them to lose control of their wheel?
The fatalities from car accidents have increased from 25% – 30% compared to previous years. At times certain medical emergencies that cannot be foreseen, cause car accidents. However, the drivers may be exempted in case of some exceptions.
Sudden Medical Emergency Defense for Auto Accidents in Las Vegas:
Drivers may be relieved of the liability in accidents in situations where the medical condition becomes the cause. The vindication urging the sudden medical emergency defense lies in the fact that no negligence was involved. The matter went beyond the motorists’ control, so they should not compensate the injured victim. Generally, the driver has to prove to claim this defense, which comprises of three elements:
The Driver Encountered a Sudden Loss of Consciousness:
The time frame of the emergency and accident before it occurred is crucial, although no specific number of minutes has been set for this. However, suddenness is still a critical factor. The scenario for auto accidents in Las Vegas becomes as follows:
The loss of consciousness must have been so abrupt and unexpected that the driver had lost control over the vehicle and couldn’t have mitigated the situation due to loss of control
The defense is required to prove that there was no indication of symptoms before they experienced the sudden unconsciousness. If the driver has noticed a medical issue and chooses to ignore it, there cannot be any suddenness in the accident
The Loss of Consciousness Brought On Loss of Control Over the Vehicle:
If this is the case, the driver would have to prove this element and prove that the accident occurred due to more than just simple impairment or lack of control. There has to be total unconsciousness with total loss of the ability to control the vehicle.
Medical Emergency Caused Unconsciousness and Subsequent Loss of Control:
Sudden medical emergency defense requires the driver’s medical records. The medical condition needs immediate treatment, which is why healthcare practitioners or emergency medical technicians recommend tests to diagnose the reason behind lost consciousness.
Some Examples of Sudden Medical Emergencies:
Examples of sudden medical emergencies include:
- Myocardial infarction
- A sudden drop in blood pressure
- Mental delusions
- Reaction due to the medications
Who Holds the Burden of Proof?
Mostly, the burden of proof lies on the injured victim, who needs to prove the driver’s negligence, which caused the accident and damages. However, the burden of proof may also shift to the at-fault driver if the sudden medical emergency defense is appealed to avoid liability.
Who Is Liable for Damages?
If the driver is able to successfully prove that they did actually suffer an unforeseen medical emergency, there are still some other parties that could be liable for the damages. For instance, the driver’s treating physician could be held responsible if they cleared the person for driving even though the medical condition stated otherwise.
Also, if the driver’s accident involved other parties who contributed to the crash, the injured victim may ask to get compensation from the driver’s liability insurance.
Since each case is different, therefore, it is important to discuss the details of your claim with a licensed attorney who is experienced and could analyze the facts to help you in case of sudden medical emergency accidents.
What Are the Options for the Victim if Their Claim Is Denied?
In case if the victim’s claim is denied because the insurance company is leaning on the sudden medical emergency defense, then the victim may file a lawsuit to pursue the compensation. Since the driver has suffered a medical emergency, the burden of proof lies with the at-fault driver, meaning that the injured victim must gather enough evidence to prove otherwise and also build a strong case to support evidence.
However, if the victim is not confident that they can prove the driver’s defense illegitimate, then they may file a claim through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay. Nevertheless, it is imperative to discuss other options for recovering compensation with the attorney as they may provide better solutions and advice.
Call an Experienced Lawyer:
For auto accidents in Las Vegas, it may be pretty complicated to prove liability for an accident where an at-fault driver claims it as an unforeseen medical emergency. Hence, it is crucial to have the back of a knowledgeable attorney.
At Nettles Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced. They are always prepared to build a robust case to help you pursue the maximum compensation for your medical bills or any other damages. Consult us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and discuss your claim to find out what legal options may be available for you.