When you consider an “impairment” as the cause of a car accident in New Orleans, you immediately assume that alcohol or drugs caused the impairment. However, there are other causes of impairment that can result in a car accident. When this happens, it can be difficult to place “blame” on someone when the cause of the crash is out of that person’s control.
Physical Impairments Can Cause Accidents
In some case, a person’s physical health can impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle. For examples, if a person has Parkinson’s Disease, he or she may have uncontrollable shaking in his or her arms and legs that can impact coordination and balance. In addition, medications for Parkinson’s can have side effects that cause dizziness, confusion, or blurry vision. Another example is a person who has epilepsy. A driver with epilepsy may not know in time to stop the vehicle that a seizure is about to happen.
Even diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol can cause conditions that impair driving. A person with diabetes could have a drop in sugar levels that cause the person to lose consciousness while someone with high blood pressure could have a sudden stroke.
Any of the above conditions may be treated or controlled through medication making it perfectly safe for the person to drive. For that matter, a person who is seemingly healthy with no known medical conditions could pass out or suffer a seizure behind the wheel without warning. Nothing is impossible when you are driving a vehicle.
Cognitive Conditions That Can Impair Driving Ability
In addition to physical conditions, a person could suffer a cognitive problem that impairs the ability to drive. As drivers age, dementia can present a problem as well as the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. The individual may not be aware that a problem exists. As with physical conditions, some cognitive conditions can be treated with medication allowing the person to continue operating a vehicle safely, but you never know when something can go wrong.
What Happens After an Accident?
Unfortunately, there are accidents that are caused by a person’s physical or cognitive condition. In most cases, the person has no warning of the episode. A driver experiences a stroke or losses consciousness. Medical emergencies are the cause of many car crashes each year. Who is to blame?
In this case, there may be no one to “’blame.” We like to interchange the idea of blame with liability, but that is not the case in a car accident. The person who caused a car crash is liable for any injuries that result from the collision (liable equals responsible). Victims can sue the at-fault driver for damages.
However, the driver may or may not had any “control” over the cause of the crash. While most accidents are not true “accidents” because drivers choose to speed, drive drunk, be reckless, or drive while distracted, there are some cases where the crash is a true “accident” because the cause of the crash was not within the driver’s control, such as the driver having a heart attack.
Even though the crash may be a true “accident,” that driver is still responsible for any damages arising from the crash. It may be difficult to think about holding a person who had a stroke liable for damages from a car accident; however, this is one of the reasons we have car insurance — to protect us in the event things happen that are not within our control.
Do You Need a New Orleans Accident Attorney?
If you have questions about a car accident, we urge you to contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free appointment. Call (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.