Imagine this scenario: As you were driving lawfully, paying attention to all the rules of the road, a car came hurtling toward you through a red light, T-boning your vehicle and landing you in the hospital.
Your injuries were severe — and you have a long and costly road back to recovery. You can’t help but wonder how the accident even occurred. The police report indicated the driver was not intoxicated. So, what exactly happened?
The driver may have been medically impaired
There are many different medical conditions that can render a motorist unfit to drive. Sometimes those conditions are temporary, but other medical conditions, like many maladies associated with aging, could be a reason to permanently hang up the car keys.
Below are some conditions that can affect the ability to drive safely:
- Vision problems, including glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration
- Neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- Cardiovascular disease that can lead to strokes and heart attacks
- Decreased mobility from osteoarthritis and abnormalities of the feet
- Psychiatric conditions, including psychosis, substance abuse and personality disorders
- Respiratory problems related to episodes of sleep apnea and COPD
- Metabolic imbalances from diabetes Types I and II
Medically impaired drivers may be liable for the injuries they cause
If you were injured in a car wreck due to a medically impaired driver, one of your first steps should be to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your options for getting all the financial compensation you need to heal and move forward. Even if the at-fault driver was medically impaired and should not have been driving, you can expect the insurance company to do what it can to minimize or even deny your compensation.
You should always talk to a personal injury attorney if you were seriously injured in a crash and believe the other driver was at fault, regardless of any prior health conditions of the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver was aware of any prior medical condition(s), and they still took the risk to drive, then their insurance will have to cover your injuries. And even if the at-fault driver was not aware of the medical condition prior to the accident (which can happen) many times the at-fault driver’s insurance will still pay the claim, especially if you are badly hurt.
Also, the situation described here is another good reason to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage (“UM coverage”) on your auto insurance policy, in case the claim is denied by the at-fault party’s insurance. The UM coverage gives you another insurance company to try and recover from for your injuries.
For more on important steps to take after a car accident in Georgia, please see our Car Crash FAQ.