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Indiana Car Accident Lawyer | Explains Sudden Medical Emergency Doctrine

Guy DiMartino Oct. 25, 2016

Indiana car accident lawyer explains the sudden medical emergency doctrine and how it can excuse a person who caused an automobile accident from responsibility.

This fact scenario can happen all too often. A person is injured in an Indiana automobile accident and the other driver's insurance company seeks to avoid responsibility by taking the position that the other driver had an unforeseen medical emergency and was not negligent.

The issue was brought to my attention by a recent article in the LaPorte Herald-Argus where a driver suffered a fatal heart attack before crashing his car into a tree.

Can a Medical Condition Be Used as A Defense?

Although it may sound unfair, if another driver in Indiana loses control of their vehicle and crashes into you because of an unforeseen medical condition, they may use the medical condition as a defense to avoid compensating an injury victim.

The cases reported have involved an unforeseen seizure by a driver. Specifically, the driver who hit the injured person would have the burden of proof in trial to show that the loss of physical capacity or loss of consciousness was not foreseeable. A case involving this defense requires a good working knowledge of medicine. For instance, if the other driver had a heart attack could the insurance company really take the position that it was not foreseeable if the driver was overweight or smoked or had high blood pressure or had diabetes or had a family history of heart disease?

Our condolences go out to the family of the gentleman who died as reported in the LaPorte Herald-Argus thankfully it was a one car accident and no other parties were injured or killed.