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Tampa Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > General > What is the Medical Emergency Defense?

What is the Medical Emergency Defense?

When it comes to determining who or what is at fault in the aftermath of an accident it can become a very complicated and stressful situation. So, what is the medical emergency defense? This is something that may prove useful when fault isn’t exactly clear and there’s a lot of muddy water to work your way through. Specifically, it’s the idea that if the cause of the accident was, in fact, an unpredicted and abrupt medical emergency, you may be able to avoid having to pay damages.

In order to do so you must prove the following:

  • You lost control immediately prior to the accident occurring
  • This loss of control is directly what caused the accident
  • You lost control due to the unexpected medical emergency

If you can prove all three of these things, then you may have a medical emergency defense to back yourself up. Outright medical emergencies include but are not limited to:

  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Diabetic episodes
  • Heart attacks
  • Bad reactions to medication
  • Strokes
  • Mental delusions
  • Extreme sudden drops in ones’ blood pressure

The only issue with the medical emergency defense is that if you were previously aware of your condition, you may not be able to apply the defense to your case. This means taking every precaution before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to prevent any of this out rightly (i.e. eating and drinking enough throughout the day, not driving when instructed not to by a physician, heeding specific warnings when using certain medications, etc.). If any of the aforementioned apply to you, you may end up dealing with a negligence case instead of a medical emergency one, so be aware of your health and habits before driving always.

This being said, should you be able to apply this defense, then typically both parties will be responsible for their own damages. This means that you will always want to consider having a well thought out and thorough insurance plan from the beginning. To help you along any step of the way, you may want to reach out to an attorney who specializes in such cases. If you’re already in the steps of filing for a medical emergency lawsuit, your lawyer will be able to help guide you step by step making sure you’re taken care of.

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