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Blogs from February, 2023

overhead view of a t-bone crash between two small sports utility vehicles

What to Do When a Crash is Caused by a Medical Emergency

When a driver is involved in a crash due to an unanticipated medical emergency, the insurance company may try to avoid responsibility by claiming that the driver was not negligent. For example, we’ve had an insurance company unsuccessfully attempt to avoid responsibility for an accident that occurred when their insured allegedly suffered a stroke before crashing into our client.

Although California’s sudden emergency doctrine states that drivers are not automatically negligent if they experience an unexpected medical condition, the insurance companies and their lawyers have the burden to prove that the medical condition in fact caused the crash. Many times a deep dive into the insured driver’s medical records will reveal that they knew or should have known it was unsafe for them to drive in the first place.

It is important for those involved in such a crash to understand their rights. If the insurance company is attempting to avoid responsibility, working with an experienced attorney can help you fight back.

What Evidence Can I Use To Prove My Claim?

Firstly, it is important to understand that the burden of proof for the sudden medical emergency defense lies with the insurance company. They must be able to provide evidence that shows the driver’s negligence did not cause or contribute to the crash in order for them to avoid responsibility or reduce the amount of compensation due.

Evidence that the at fault driver created the sudden medical emergency by driving too quickly or failing to take safety precautions can go a long way towards defeating the sudden medical emergency defense. Pictures showing skid marks on the road, damage to the cars, and other physical evidence can help to prove your claim. Records like traffic collision reports and ambulance records can also show whether or not the medical condition was the cause or the result of the collision.

How An Attorney Can Help

If the insurance company is refusing to take responsibility for a crash, it is important to seek legal advice. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and provide guidance on how best to pursue a claim. Call Effres & Effres today at (818) 222-9720 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.