It’s no news that a medical emergency or health condition can lead to traffic accidents. Unfortunately, this is one important aspect of safety regulations on the road that is not often mentioned.
According to statistics, the largest population of older drivers in the US is found in Florida. These people are often exposed to increased risk due to their chronic conditions. A typical example was the fatal crash that was recently reported by the Florida Highway Patrol. The accident which occurred just near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Interstate 75 was generally blamed on a medical episode.
According to authorities, the accident involved a Punta Gorda man. The 70-year-old man was pronounced dead when he was taken to the hospital – Gulf Coast Medical Center. As at the time, the man was driving a truck that repeatedly struck a guardrail before finally coming to a halt in the grass. Before plunging into the median, the vehicle had struck another car after veering to the right.
How Chronic Medical Conditions Can Affect Driving
Based on the research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, it is revealed that certain chronic medical conditions like dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, and alcoholism are most likely to increase accident risks.
When it comes to prohibiting people with chronic medical conditions from driving vehicles, it has been observed that Florida is relatively less concerned as it has one of the most lenient laws in the nation. The only time the state may decide to conduct an investigation that would include a request for medical records and a review for a motorist’s driving record is when confidential reports from other motorists have been made available.
Every personal injury attorney in Florida needs to be aware of the laws guiding senior driver safety. But it is sad to note that the common ailments of the elderly of often quite overlooked in the discussion, including the impact of common medications on mental capacity and coordination, slower reaction time and reflexes, loss of motor control or strength, and loss of hearing or vision.
Legally, a claim for damages can get complicated due to the presence of a medical condition as a factor in causation. In some cases where the motorist is said not to be completely at fault, such a claim will often not debar recovery from occurring. Based on Florida’s laws a claimant is not precluded from seeking recovery even when found to be partly at fault. They may, however, get a reduction in damage award.
When it comes to handling claims that involve a driver’s medical condition, it is crucial for the personal injury attorney in Florida to critically review the motorist’s medical history and driving record to ascertain their actions behind the wheel. In the first place, such cases shouldn’t be filed as negligence.