A car tumbled from an overpass near Sea World recently, killing the driver, according to police reports. The unidentified 40-year-old man behind the wheel was traveling east on Mission Bay Drive when he ran through the guardrail and plunged 77 feet to land upside down on a concrete wall on Ingraham Street. He died at the scene.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash but have released no information at this point. It is unclear if the driver suffered some type of medical emergency, misjudged the road conditions or simply made an error, or if there was another reason for the crash.
Although people may not realize it, there are many instances each year of people being injured or killed in car accidents due to medical emergencies. When someone has a heart attack or stroke, passes out due to illness or low blood sugar or has a bad reaction to a medication, that driver can easily plow into other vehicles. This can cause death and injury for the driver and for others on the road.
Those who are injured in a medically-related crash may feel that they have no grounds for a lawsuit. However, it is important to understand the difference between liability and fault.
Liability simply means that someone is responsible for causing injury. It does not mean that the driver intended to hurt anyone. It does, however, often imply that there were things the driver or someone else might have done differently that could have changed the outcome of the accident.
For example, if a driver crashes into someone because he or she failed to take needed medication, the driver can certainly be held accountable for this failure. If a doctor prescribes treatment for a patient but fails to warn the person that driving could be dangerous, the doctor may be liable for the injuries. If the driver has a reaction to medication that causes an accident and the manufacturer failed to warn the driver or the doctor of side effects, the pharmaceutical company could be liable.
Ultimately, determining liability is a question for the courts. If you have been involved in an accident, even if the driver did not mean to cause harm to you, it is possible that you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Daniel M. Gilleon in San Diego for more information.