The Bureau of Highway Safety and the Maine Department of Transportation periodically release Maine crash data. These reports indicate that the leading causes of Maine accidents are distracted and inattentive driving, lane departures, speeding, and impaired driving. Many people believe that impaired driving is only a result of alcohol or illicit drug use; however, impaired driving also includes those driving while under the influence of a prescription medication that was prescribed to treat an underlying medical condition. It can also include those who drive while suffering from certain medical conditions.
Some medical conditions make it unsafe for an individual to drive a vehicle. People who know or should know that their medical condition can cause driving impairment should take appropriate precautions before operating a motor vehicle. In some instances, driving may not be safe at all. Certain medical conditions may predispose a person to engage in unsafe driving. For example, seizure disorders, sleep disorders, limited eyesight, and other conditions that require medication may limit a driver’s ability to drive safely.
If a driver’s health condition is the cause of an accident, they may be liable for any injuries caused by the accident. Establishing liability in typical impaired or drunk driving accidents may be straightforward; however, accidents resulting from medical conditions can be more complicated. Drivers owe others a standard of care to operate their motor vehicle safely. If a driver knows or should know that their medical condition or medication can cause impaired driving, they should not risk the safety of others by driving. If they fail to take the appropriate precautions and cause an accident, they may face liability.
These cases are very fact-specific, and a judge or jury will look to how much the person’s medical condition contributed to the accident. The fact-finder will often refer to expert witnesses, medical records, and driving history. Victims should have an experienced personal injury attorney to assist them in locating and preparing witnesses and collecting relevant evidence.
Recently, a Maine news report revealed that a severe car accident occurred after a truck driver’s heart condition caused him to experience a “white-out” and drift into a passing lane. The truck driver told emergency officials that he has a heart condition that causes a quick drop in blood pressure. This drop-in blood pressure causes a period of “whiting out,” which impairs the person’s vision. He explained that the accident occurred during this period of whiting out. In cases such as this, the injury victims may be able to impose liability on the truck driver because he was driving with this known dangerous medical condition.
Have You Been Injured in a Maine Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Maine car accident, you should contact the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. The attorneys at our Maine law firm have extensive experience handling complex personal injury lawsuits. Lawsuits based on injuries that are the result of another’s medical condition can be challenging. However, the attorneys at our firm can help overcome the barriers that these causes may present. To learn more, call 800-804-2004 to schedule your free consultation.