One person was seriously injured in a Chelsea car crash that may have been caused by a medical emergency.
The wreck happened near the intersection of 18th Street and 11th Avenue in New York City. A man driving a black Chrysler 300 evidently fell unconscious as he was driving. According to one witness, the driver was completely comatose after the collision. The driver initially crashed into a livery cab and then careened into a parked car.
First responders rushed the driver – whose name was not released – to a local hospital, where doctors treated him for respiratory distress and cardiac arrest.
Car Crashes and Medical Conditions
About 133 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic health condition, like epilepsy, diabetes, or heart disease. Moreover, most of these conditions make it difficult or impossible to safely operate a motor vehicle because of the risk of losing consciousness or due to the loss of bodily function. Theoretically, the state can suspend the drivers’ licenses of those individuals who have dangerous medical conditions. However, such adverse action is typically taken only if the driver is hospitalized for the medical condition and the hospital subsequently notifies the state.
As a result, drivers with medical emergencies cause about 20,000 crashes a year. Many of these motorists ignore a physician’s advice, or even a driver’s license suspension order, and continue driving. Such activity is a breach of the duty of reasonable care, which means that accident victims may be entitled to damages. If there was a serious injury stemming from the car accident, this compensation can include money for both economic losses, like property damage, and noneconomic losses, like emotional distress.
It may be a defense for a tortfeasor (negligent driver) in these circumstances to establish that they had a valid driver’s license, that their medical condition was under control, and that they were under a doctor’s supervision.
The bottom line is that many people with medical conditions probably should not be driving. For a free consultation with an assertive personal injury attorney in Manhattan, contact Proner & Proner now. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.