Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

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What to do When a Medical Emergency is the Cause of an Accident

Posted Friday, May 17, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe thought of having some type of medical emergency is terrifying to everyone. Being vulnerable to the unknown is an unsettling feeling. What perhaps is more unsettling is thinking about another driver on the road suddenly having an emergency and crashing his or her vehicle into yours. What do you do in that situation? Is the other driver still liable for damages even though he or she suffered a medical emergency? Individuals in Seattle are battling with these questions following a recent accident caused by a medical emergency.

According to KOMO News, two people were rushed to the hospital after a driver suffered a medical emergency and rear-ended a vehicle. A Toyota SUV slammed into the back of another vehicle. The injured people were in the SUV that caused the accident. Both vehicles were thrust down a slope and hit a utility pole. One individual was trapped inside the SUV, only being freed when firefighters cut the roof of the vehicle.

Investigators say that it appears that the driver of the SUV suffered a medical emergency, causing him to lose control and hit the vehicle in front of him. The driver of the vehicle that was hit was momentarily knocked unconscious following the accident, but otherwise showed no additional injuries at the scene.

While the individuals injured in this particular accident were in the vehicle that caused the accident, the other driver could just as easily have been seriously injured. Washington state law permits the recovery of damages when a driver is negligent in his or her actions and causes a collision. This includes collecting damages if the driver was negligent in dealing with medical emergencies or issues that might arise while driving.

In determining the liability for damages when the accident is caused by a medical emergency, the central issue is whether or not the medical emergency was foreseeable. This operates similarly to the sudden emergency doctrine. If a driver knows of a medical condition that could alter his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely, then he or she could be found negligent and thus liable for damages. However, if a driver has no idea that they have a medical condition and no reason to know of this medical condition, then the driver might not be found negligent. Determining whether a medical emergency was foreseeable or not can be difficult. Finding the answer usually means digging deep into the individual’s medical history, actions, and life to determine if he or she had knowledge of the medical condition, or should have had knowledge of the medical condition.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover after an auto accident, especially if that accident was caused by a negligent driver. Whether the driver was negligent in his or her medical care or awareness or some other action, we want to help you recover the maximum amount of damages for your injury. Car accidents and the resulting injuries can bring about a tremendous financial burden. Let us try to alleviate that burden by seeking damages in a personal injury case so that you can focus on the physical and mental aspect of recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Per Look)