New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Driving With Serious Medical Issues: NY Lawmakers Consider New Laws to Reduce the Risks

Posted on Feb 28, 2018 in Car Accidents

Car accidents have many different causes, and it is important to determine the reason for collisions. A New York personal injury law firm can provide assistance investigating a crash cause and assessing whether anyone can be held legally responsible for causing harm to accident victims.

Unfortunately, in some cases, accidents happen not because a driver was drunk or drowsy but instead because a driver had a serious medical issue. Just recently, for example, ABC 7 New York reported on a tragic accident in which two children were killed and two adults were injured when a driver had a seizure. In response to that tragic accident, state lawmakers have proposed new regulations that would make it more difficult for people with certain medical conditions  to drive.

When a motorist has a medical condition and chooses to get behind the wheel anyone, it is possible that decision to drive will be considered negligent for deciding to drive. If that’s the case, then the driver who chose to get behind the wheel could be held accountable if he has a medical incident that causes an accident. His negligence that makes him liable comes not when the medical incident happens, but with the knowingly choice to take the risk of driving — despite the danger caused by the fact a medical incident is likely.

State Considers New Laws to Reduce Risks of Accidents by Drivers With Serious Medical Conditions

According to ABC 7, the tragic accident that left two young children dead involved a Tony-award winning actress and another mother. The two were crossing the road with a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old, both of whom died in the accident.

The driver who struck the children and killed them reportedly had a long history of driving violations, including violations for going through red lights. It is believed that in this particular incident, she had a seizure that caused her to drive into the children.  The driver had a valid driver’s license that was suspended because of an earlier crash, and police are investigating her blood work and her driving record.  ABC indicates that unless she had been advised by a medical professional to avoid driving and chose to do so anyway, she may not be charged in this particular incident.

The new legislation that has been proposed would require doctors to provide notice to the DMV when their patients have certain medical conditions such as seizure disorders. Because the motorist in this accident had also had a series of past violations, a different bill has been proposed to suspend the registration of motorists with six or more violations of laws requiring stopping at red lights and stopping at stop signs.

Whether any new laws are passed or not, motorists are expected to behave responsibly and can be held accountable for breaching their obligation to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. To find out more about how to take action and hold a driver liable after a crash occurs, contact a New York personal injury law firm today for help.

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