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Proving Liability In Wrecks Caused by Driver Medical Conditions


In Tennessee, drivers who suffer from certain medical conditions may be held to be liable for car Wrecks if the injured plaintiffs are able to prove that the drivers knew about their conditions and that they should not drive because of them. If a person suffers a sudden medical emergency that causes an Wreck, he or she may not be held to be liable for any resulting damages if he or she had no reason to know about the condition ahead of time. A car Wreck lawyer may investigate an Wreck involving a driver's having a medical condition in order to determine whether or not the driver knew about his or her impairing condition before he or she drove.

Proving Liability in Car Wrecks Involving Medical Conditions

The Supreme Court of Tennessee outlined the requirements for proving liability of drivers who suffer sudden medical events that cause Wrecks in a case that involved a driver who had a seizure while he was driving. In the case, he stipulated that he knew beforehand that he had a seizure disorder and that his seizures would cause him to lose consciousness. The court examined what had to be proven in order to establish the defendant's negligence. The plaintiff must prove that the driver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff; that the driver breached the duty of care that he or she owed; that a loss or injury happened; that the breach of the duty of care caused the loss or injury; and that the plaintiff suffered actual harm.

In the case of a medical emergency, Tennessee had previously held that because a sudden medical problem such as a heart attack is not reasonably foreseeable, a person's conduct cannot drop below a reasonable standard of care, meaning that no breach exists. The court outlined several ways that a plaintiff could show that the driver's condition was reasonably foreseeable. A driver's prior awareness of his or her condition, whether or not he or she is under a doctor's care for it, the number of times he or she has previously suffered an incapacitating incident from the condition and whether or not he or she is prescribed medicine for it are all factors that can be considered in determining whether or not the driver was negligent. A car Wreck lawyer may gather documentation to help prove the factors that are necessary to support a finding of negligence.

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