No one expects a routine drive to end in a car accident, especially when it is the result of a sudden medical emergency. Unfortunately, these tragic events occur all too often, blurring the lines of fault and liability. Understanding your rights is essential if you were injured in an accident caused by a medical emergency. Under Florida’s Sudden Emergency Doctrine, the individual who suffered the emergency is typically not at fault. However, there are exceptions to this rule. An experienced attorney can review every detail of your case to determine the best path forward for recovering monetary compensation for your injuries and other losses.
At Marsalisi Law, our renowned attorney, Frank P. Marsalisi, understands the unique complexities of Florida law and has an established history of achieving favorable outcomes for his clients. He understands your stress and will work tirelessly to make the claims process as straightforward as possible. Our team is committed to handling every aspect of your case so you can focus entirely on healing from your injuries.
Who Is Liable After a Car Accident Caused by a Sudden Medical Emergency?
There is no way to avoid emergencies. Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time, including on Florida’s roadways. If someone suffers a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke while driving, they are not held to the same duty of care as others on the road due to the fact that medical emergencies are unpredictable. However, to avoid liability for any accident and subsequent injuries, the driver who suffered the medical emergency must establish the following elements:
- The driver became suddenly debilitated before the collision;
- The driver lost control of the vehicle due to a medical emergency;
- The driver did not cause the emergency;
- The driver acted as a reasonable person would if faced with the same emergency.
If the driver who caused your accident meets the criteria above, the driver cannot be held responsible for the damages you suffered. However, you can still seek monetary compensation for your losses through your own insurance company. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning accident victims can file a claim for their medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the collision. However, there are limits on the amount of monetary compensation you can collect, and the claim may be complex to file on your own. Your attorney can evaluate every detail of your case to determine the best path forward to recover the damages you deserve.
What Is Considered a Sudden Emergency in Florida?
Unfortunately, several types of emergencies can lead to unforeseeable accidents. Florida’s Sudden Emergency Doctrine may apply in the following circumstances:
- Medical emergencies: While a driver becoming incapacitated can undoubtedly cause an accident, a passenger medical emergency may cause the driver to take their eyes away from the road, causing a collision.
- Weather events: Drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care when driving in inclement weather. However, if the weather changes unexpectedly, leaving no time for the driver to react, the weather event may be classified as a sudden emergency.
- Road obstructions: If debris suddenly lands on the road, drivers may be forced into a split-second decision to avoid the obstruction or collide with it. If their actions cause an accident, it may be treated as a sudden emergency.
This is not a complete list, and other situations may create sudden emergencies. Your attorney will work with you to understand the details of your case so you can pursue the monetary compensation you need to move forward after your accident.
Speak With a First Class Car Accident Attorney at Marsalisi Law
If you have been involved in a car accident triggered by a medical emergency, you do not need to face the aftermath alone. At Marsalisi Law, we recognize the unique complexities of these cases and are committed to standing by your side. Our attorney, Frank P. Marsalisi, is fluent in both English and Spanish and will take the time to truly understand your experience and unique needs. He is committed to his client’s success and will fight aggressively for the justice you deserve.