A driver of an SUV recently crashed into a restaurant, causing injuries to herself and three restaurant patrons. The driver, unnamed in news reports, was driving along Interstate route 80 when she began to experience a medical emergency. This incident caused her to lose control of the SUV, subsequently crashing. The restaurant in question was a Duke’s Steakhouse on route 80 in Pelahatchie. At the time of the crash, there were 40 to 50 people in the restaurant. Fortunately, only three were injured by the crash. Emergency responders initially struggled to extract the driver from the vehicle, but they were eventually able to do so. The driver and another patron were taken by ambulance to the hospital, while the two other injured individuals were taken by friends or family to receive medical attention.
While a car accident caused by a medical emergency can be a sudden, unanticipated event, if a driver is aware of a medical condition that could make her unsafe on the road, she bears a legal responsibility to ensure she is symptom-free before getting behind the wheel. Drivers who know that they are at risk of losing consciousness, fainting, or otherwise becoming unable to continue driving are obligated to stay off the road until the condition is under control, and can be held liable for damages if they drive despite the risk and cause an accident while doing so.
One common example is that of someone with epilepsy experiencing a seizure while driving. Epileptics may have restrictions placed on their licenses when they have experienced seizures in recent months, but if medical treatments are successful in helping them manage the condition, such restrictions can be lifted. Individuals with certain heart conditions that can cause sudden dips in blood pressure should also exercise caution when driving if the condition is not under control. Unmanaged diabetes can also cause swings in blood sugar leading to the individual experiencing a diabetic coma. In one recent incident in New Jersey, a driver of a large dump truck caused multiple accidents and killed another driver while he drove with highly erratic blood sugar and was unable to control his vehicle. If the medical emergency causing a crash is the first time the individual has experienced those symptoms, or there was no reason to believe that the condition was not under control and being successfully managed with medication, then the driver may be able to escape liability for damages caused in an accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help to ensure that you receive what you deserve for your injuries. Contact the compassionate and seasoned Biloxi attorneys at the law office of Corban Gunn for a free consultation on your possible car accident claim, at 228.284.6805.