News Stories

Pre-existing medical conditions and car accidents

car crashed into a tree

Despite the country’s best efforts to spread awareness about and enforce safe driving practices, there are still hundred of thousands of car accidents each year. The reasons behind them range from drinking to texting and road hazards, but did you know that pre-existing medical conditions are a factor?

The term “impaired driving” makes most people think of drugs and alcohol, but it also pertains to various medical conditions that impact an individual’s ability to drive. If you have a pre=existing condition, then this is how it could affect your car accident. 

Types of Pre-Existing Impairments

There’s a long list of conditions that could potentially impact your ability to drive. Anything that impairs your skill, judgement, or motor functions can count. Some of the most common include:

  • The rise and fall of blood sugar in diabetes
  • Fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath in heart disease
  • Disorders that cause seizures
  • And even poor eyesight

Knowing the Law

It isn’t uncommon for people with diagnosed conditions to have restrictions placed on their driver’s license. These are determined by the severity of the impairment and include limitations for things like nighttime driving, heavy traffic, and specific areas such as school zones. 

If you do have a pre-existing condition, speak with your primary care physician about how it may impact your driving ability. They can write a letter detailing the severity of your impairments, which you can relay to your state’s Department of Transportation. 

Determining Fault with Pre-Existing Conditions

So, what happens in the event of an accident? Bad eyesight and seizures can be just as dangerous, if not more than, drinking and driving. Since a drunk driver is found liable, it might make sense to think that someone with a pre-existing condition would be as well. However, that isn’t always the case. 

Determining liability depends on a variety of factors. Intentional negligence, the extent of injuries, and how much of a role the disability played in the accident are all taken into consideration. This makes it vital that you have skilled legal representation for your case. 

It helps to have legal professionals whose practice revolves around vehicle wrecks, but also one who understands how disabilities can play a part. Finding the right lawyer isn’t always easy, but these car accident attorneys in Hermosa Beach are an excellent example of what to look for. 

Fighting for Your Rights

When you know how a pre-existing condition affects your driving ability, you’re cautious about ensuring your safety and the safety of others. If you do find yourself in an accident, don’t let the other party pin liability on your for your condition. 

You have the right to argue your case with legal representation and prove that your impairment did not directly cause the accident. You also have the right to seek compensation when the other party was at fault. With the right legal team on your side, this is a fight you can and will win.