man having heart attack while driving a car

Car accidents are most often caused by driver error and negligence. However, serious health conditions—chronic and acute—sometimes cause serious crashes. While these collisions can still result in life-changing injury, insurance companies are sometimes reluctant to pay a liability claim for accidents that do not involve a clear-cut error.

The Difference Between Chronic and Acute Health Conditions

People who have health conditions and health concerns still have lives. Even if they try to regulate their disease, they may not always be able to control the symptoms. When it comes to car accidents, health conditions could be placed into two different categories:

  • Chronic health conditions. These are persistent and long-lasting illnesses. Physicians consider a disease or disorder chronic if its duration exceeds three months. Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and arthritis are all considered chronic health conditions.
  • Acute health conditions. These are sudden and often severe in onset. Physicians consider events acute when they happen unexpectedly. However, many acute health events correlate to pre-existing health conditions. An asthma attack, broken bone, and even COVID-19 could all be considered acute health conditions.

How Health Conditions Can Contribute to Accidents

People who suffer from chronic or acute health conditions may cause an accident if a disease, disability, or sudden-onset symptoms prevent them from safely operating a motor vehicle. However, health conditions can cause accidents in many different ways. For example:

  • A person with diabetes could lose track of their blood sugar level. If their blood sugar is very high or very low, they may experience significant impairment, up to and including loss of consciousness.
  • A person who has pre-existing heart disease could suffer a stroke while driving, causing them to lose consciousness and strike another vehicle.

Who Is Liable When Medical Problems Cause Crashes

If somebody’s chronic or acute health condition caused an accident, you may need to speak to an attorney to determine if they could or should be liable for any damages caused by the crash.

While you may feel sympathetic for the other motorist, you should never have to pay out-of-pocket for an accident that was not your fault. Since Tennessee is a fault state, you would ordinarily be able to recover damages from the other motorist’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often quick to call these sorts of collisions unavoidable.

However, you may still be entitled to an insurance payout if the other driver’s negligence contributed to the accident. The other driver might be negligent if:

  • Their health condition precluded them from driving.
  • They knew that their health condition could endanger other motorists.
  • They did not take prescribed medication to control their symptoms.
  • They ignored signs of a progressively worsening illness but never contacted their physician or sought additional treatment.

Determining Who Should Pay for Damages

If another motorist’s chronic or acute health condition caused or contributed to your Tennessee automobile accident, you could claim damages from the other motorist’s insurance company if your lawyer believes their health-related negligence caused the accident. If the other motorist suffered a truly unavoidable catastrophe, you could recover from your own insurance company. Depending on your coverage, you may be able to receive assistance from your health insurance carrier, your automobile insurance policy, or both.

An Attorney Could Help You Secure the Best Possible Outcome

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, which means they often do everything in their power to deny accident victims fair and equitable settlements. They might try to tell you that your crash was an unavoidable act of God and that they cannot give you the compensation you need to recover from a life-altering accident.

However, you do not need to accept the insurance company’s excuses. GriffithLaw could help you prove that the other motorist is liable for your Nashville car accident injury or push your own insurer for a better, more equitable settlement.

Please send GriffithLaw a message online or call us at 615-823-8233 to schedule your absolutely free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.